A heartfelt ballad, The Lonely Forest's "Turn Off This Song and Go Outside" is as suitable for singing along as it is self-deprecating. Long regarded as an up-and-comer in the Pacific Northwest, the band recently collaborated with Death Cab for Cutie guitarist/producer Chris Walla to take the anthemic, poppy earnestness of Jimmy Eat World and transform it into a sound that's both playful and emotionally gripping.
"Turn off this song / Find someone to love / Turn off this song / You can listen to it later / Go outside," singer John Van Deusen implores, implicating himself as just another navel-gazing narcissist in need of some fresh air. As his band ebbs and swells in perfect concert, "Turn Off This Song and Go Outside" serves as a catchy call to arms, not to mention one of the best and most honest slices of pop music around.
This story originally ran on Feb. 3, 2011.