If mixing business with pleasure is a recipe for trouble, someone forgot to tell FXRRVST (pronounced forest), the fast-emerging Toronto-based duo of Holly Forrest and Matthew Fuentes, whose devotion to each other is seconded only by their shared commitment to crafting ridiculously catchy, super-emotive alt-rock.
How They Met
The duo met in August of 2016 when Holly came to Canada for the first time ever to study Audio Engineering at Metalworks Institute. They both shared a mutual friend in Toronto who connected them to “start a band” and the rest is history. Holly said, “We hated each other’s music at first though! Matt loves indie rock/pop and folk and I love indie-alternative and pop-punk so we definitely didn’t see eye to eye at first. The band probably broke up like 20 times in two weeks! But we managed to learn how to compromise and when we did we actually started to make music we both loved.”
FXRRVST’s sound features richly evocative lyrics and an iridescent voice against a strummy guitar line that builds into a massive, cascading runs. Hear Tidal Wave here:
Music with Purpose
FXRRVST self describes as, “an eco-friendly indie-alternative band.” Holly said, “The eco-friendly aspect comes from our merch at the moment. All of our CDs, t-shirts, pins, stickers and cards are eco-friendly. At the moment given our budget its the most we can do unfortunately but as we grow we are going to expand into making FXRRVST as a business 100% eco-friendly as well as more charitable. At the moment we support the Fiona Unity Foundation which help orphan kids in Indonesia with disabilities get surgeries they need in order to survive. The kids are outcasted by their families because they are seen as useless for having things like tumours. My mum actually started and runs it so that makes it a little more special for us.”
Unconventional Writing Processes
Matt says that when it comes to songwriting, they’ve still got an unconventional approach that brings their influences and directions together.
Matt: “I’ve never really listened to music for lyrics. I’ve been more inclined to the instrumental elements of a song, where as Holly is a lot more lyric heavy. Usually Holly writes the lyrics and vocal melody with the chords of the song. Then she’ll show me and we will “negotiate” on the structure and what chords to use.”
Holly: “Sometimes though Matt will have an idea and we just kinda do the same process but in a different order. He will bring a specific lead part that we love and then ill come up with chords and lyrics for that.”
Matt: “Overall though, I think the main aspect of writing together is that we write music that we love. You have to love your songs first before someone else does.
FXRRVST snagged a 2017 Toronto Independent Music Award nomination for Best Indie act, and 2018 looks even brighter.