Music News

Hear This: Forest Porridge Keeps It Light

Forest Porridge keeps it light.
Forest Porridge keeps it light. Kyle O'Neill
Social distancing? We want you to keep enjoying the music that Denver artists are making...but from the comfort of your home, rather than at a club.

Colin Martin, who is half of the whimsically named duo Forest Porridge, says his group's music can be both intimate and expansive.

"The content can be kind of serious," says Martin, 24, who started the project while attending Regis University a few years ago. "But we try to make it lighter by including funnier stuff, like our name. I can't totally remember how we came up with it, but it was a joke between me and some friends when we were hanging out and playing music. It doesn't sound too heavy, so we decided to use it. We thought is sounded kinda laid-back. It's therapeutic for us. But we don't want to come off as too heavy."

The talented two, who have performed at local venues including the Larimer Lounge, Lost Lake, the Walnut Room and the Laughing Goat, prefer to keep performances pleasantly low-key, and their latest music reflects this ethos. Porridge's new live-in-studio video and track, "Little Mama," is a prime example of their ability to sonically expand and contract.

"The song is probably a year or two old, but it's in the same vein as our name," says Martin, who moved to Denver from Kansas and holds a degree in environmental science. "It's about real interactions that I had in my life. But to present it in a way that's less burdensome to listeners, we added the 'Hey, little mama' part. It's a way of keeping it fun while still telling this story that's really important to me.

"The drummer, Dan Costello, studied a bunch of different kinds of percussion at Regis, and he played in the jazz ensemble, so he can play some really cool jazz and Latin-based stuff in addition to rock," Martin continues. "My finger-picking approach keeps things interesting melodically and provides room for vocals. Dan is good at following the mood of the song and the dynamics. We also do songs where we rock out a little more using traditional rock chords."

Martin says he takes some of his inspiration from artists including Ben Howard, Bon Iver, Pinegrove and Telemores.

"We also like to do house shows," he adds. "Those are more our speed. Just chilling and playing music for friends."

Forest Porridge just dropped three songs through Manor Records, as part of an album tentatively titled Live at Colorado Sound. The rest of the live-in-studio album will be out in a few weeks.

Listen to Forest Porridge and more favorites from Westword writers on our Westword Staff Picks playlist.
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Nick Hutchinson writes about music for Westword and enjoys playing his guitar when not on deadline.
Contact: Nick Hutchinson