Forest Swords is Matthew Barnes, a Liverpudlian producer who turned heads with his Dagger Paths EP in 2010. The EP won accolades across the interwebs, winning Pitchfork’s approval with an 8.4 and being named FACT’s best album of the year. Until a couple months ago, however, Barnes had remained relatively quiet, performing art installations, prowling the live circuit and releasing a few remixes in the years following.
That all changed last month with the release of “Thor’s Stone,” the first track off of Forest Swords’ debut album Engravings. “The Weight of Gold” is the second, a haunting meditation that is equal parts Onra and James Blake — dubby hip-hop with a broken heart and more than its fair share of Far Eastern twang. Barnes released the track with a simple message: “Life’s too fucking short.” Verily. Stream “The Weight of Gold” below, followed by last month’s “Thor’s Stone”: