Lake Forest is the solo project of Will Whitwham, singer and songwriter for Canadian chamber-folk band The Wilderness of Manitoba. The debut album Silver Skies was written last winter while Whitwham was challenging himself to write a new song every day, in an attempt to capture the feeling of the season through his songwriting.
Though his final project does convey the essence of winter, it also manages to successfully capture a time of introspection and imagination. The 11 tracks are brilliantly composed, featuring emotive melodies and skillfully crafted lyrical measure.
With nature-themed track titles and a cover photo of a forest, Silver Skies is not afraid to flaunt its rustic theme. The intro track, "Cathedral," sounds just like it was written in one- a bold and alluring song to begin the album, inviting the listener into a world filled with cozy cabins in the woods and late-night canoeing.
This feeling of returning to a simpler time is present throughout the album. Particularly notable is the song "Ohio," which melds mellow guitar with Whitwham's wistful crooning, conjuring up images of driving through the prairies with only the wind and the sky at your side.
"The Autumn Sun Will Set the Land on Fire," is the perfectly placed final track. A nearly seven-minute song with repetitive lyrics and a wistful feel, it stands as a wonderful cherry to top off Whitwham's contemplative album.
Whitwham has created an album that successfully balances dreamy instrumentals and meaningful lyrics, leaving just enough space for listeners to insert their own experiences into his well of emotions. Silver Skies is surely worth a listen.