Forever Becoming is the first Pelican album since its inception in 2001 to not feature founding guitarist Laurent Schroeder-Lebec. He withdrew from touring with Pelican in 2010, told his fellow band members that his “heart wasn’t fully in it” during the writing of the 2012 EP Ataraxia/Taraxis, and publicly announced his departure two months after the release of the EP in June 2012. Schroeder-Lebec left to spend more time with his family. Pelican originally planned on carrying on as a three-piece band, but then-touring guitarist Dallas Thomas of The Swan King became a full-time member and ended up contributing to the writing process of Forever Becoming. On working with Thomas, guitarist Trevor de Brauw said, “[Bassist Bryan Herweg] and I are more freewheeling. We don’t have every detail worked out, whereas [Dallas Thomas] is very meticulous and really likes to have things thought out. Having that balance means we’re not going to veer too far in either direction.”
On the sound of Forever Becoming, de Brauw described it as being “a lot darker, depressive, and angry,” which he attributed to the “nervous headspace” caused by continuing on without Schroeder-Lebec. While songs on some of Pelican’s more recent albums experimented with a traditional or pop structures, the songs on Forever Becoming were designed to feature a narrative or journey, with songs intentionally ending very differently from where they began.
Forever Becoming was produced by Chris Common, formerly of These Arms Are Snakes, who also previously produced Pelican’s 2009 studio album, What We All Come to Need.