Forest Claudette’s music is a comfort for the restless mind. The 23-year-old powers through life’s growing pains with diaristic song writing—using his thoughtful take on alternative R&B and pop to confront his place in this world. After growing up in a small town in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, Australia, and spending time exploring soul artists in the US, Claudette attended an experiential-learning-focused high school where he spent years trying to perfect his craft. He took piano, guitar, and vocal lessons, but he soon realized that nobody could teach him how to write a song that told his story—so he began to work hard on his own. Creaming Soda is a product of years of experimenting after that early success. It’s the sound of an artist who, after a long period of searching, has found his sweet spot. Their hypnotic new single Mess Around, a collaboration with hip-hop duo Earthgang is soulful yet otherworldly, the seductive track combines contemporary sounds with flourishes of old-school soul. Mess Around is the Australian-American crooner’s first new release since dropping 2022’s acclaimed The Year of February EP.