Gray Dranow is former athlete and musician based in Utah. His band Gary Dranow and the Manic Emotions has been consistently releasing music from a variety of genres from the beginning of 2024, building up a diverse and extensive discography. They refuse to be chained by the rigid boundaries of genre and their latest single “Heart of The Forest” is proof of the exploration they are willing to do in order to not be boxed in.

“The Heart of The Forest” is kept instrumentally simple and we get a whiff of this in the beginning with the keys that are simple yet heavy hearted. Gary Dranow keeps the percussion really light, like a backbone that doesn’t interfere too much with the actual meat of the track. The voice of the lead vocalist is allowed to take centre stage and the singer gives a strong and loud vocal performance. The strings peak through at some moments to give the track more texture. I personally enjoyed the backup vocals that added ambience with their “ooooh” and enhanced the lyrical themes.

Lyrically the track paints a picture of a forest and appreciates all its magical beauty. The lead vocalist goes on to describe the plants, the leaves, the river and the trees. Gary Dranow pays homage to nature which explains the soothing feeling the track leaves us with. “The Heart of the forest” is an ode to the world we live in and in the context of the climate crisis we are living through, is a reminder to preserve what keeps us alive.

“The Heart of the forest” is yet another genre-defying addition to the Gary Dranow catalogue that keeps us in anticipation for all that the band has for us in the future.