“Music heals” – these two words preface the description in the press release for Drifting, the latest album from Cincinnati’s The Grove. The simplicity of this phrase belies a depth to the songwriting process that may not be evident upon first listen, but becomes much clearer as the underlying messages within the lyrics reveal themselves.
Drifting was written as brothers Adam and Matt Forsthoefel were facing family tragedy – dealing with the death of their father. As a result, the album’s songs, from the upbeat opener “Pipe Dream” to the clearly introspective “Yesterday,” the music all takes on a bit more meaning. The similarly driving “My Mind,” a song about having it all figured out only to be blindsided by life, puts the conflicting emotions of life after tragedy on display – a theme that runs the length of the album.
This is not meant to imply that Drifting is just another somber, melancholy record – in fact, quite the opposite. While it has its pensive moments, the album has high highs to go with its low lows, and everything in between. In this way, it reflects the grieving process.
Drifting is a solid listen from cover to cover, borrowing from just about every flavor of rock-tinged pop from the last thirty years (including some very tasty synth licks interspersed throughout), but the standout for me is the acoustic “Yesterday,” a song that Adam Forsthoefel feels features the best lyrics he’s ever written. With an opening line, “An empty house can feel so strange, we pack our bags and learn to move away. But sometimes I just want to stay,” it’s hard to argue with that sentiment.
1) Pipe Dream
2) My Mind
4) She Gets Me High
5) Know Trouble
6) Darkest Days