The Acorn – Vieux Loup review

THEACORN2The past five years have seen The Acorn scattered across Canada on an unofficial hiatus, but next Monday (June 1st) sees the release of the band’s new album, Vieux Loop. Several years back the band were touring across the world with the likes of Elbow and Bon Iver, and it would come as a surprise if this were a world the band were likely to return to. This eight track offering was introduced with lead single Influence, which piqued our attention and became our track of the week when it was released.

Several of the tracks’ titles, such as opening Rapids, link with sublime nature, and there’s a certain vastness to the sound that makes this remarkably appropriate. Beginning with a chunky, earthy instrumental that encompasses a mix of experimentation and minimalistic rock, Rolf Klausener’s vocals blend into the music and its folky embellishments.

Nature plays its part again in Palm Springs, the alluring vocals pairing with the sweeping atmosphere of the music to forge a gentle four minute masterpiece – though that’s a phrase that could easily be applied to the majority of the album. Three minutes into In Silence (Enantiomers), the delicate sound that has so far lead the album breaks open harshly, in itself somewhat of a spectacle.

This level of control is a striking feature of the album, present again with fifth Cumin through the sparse and hollow yet powerful instrumental – though the vocals work perfectly and couldn’t be more fitting, there’s a feeling that if they were taken away, the instrument would create the moods and emotions with the same power, such is the strength of the work.

The two and a half minute title track allows the vocals to take the focus of the music, a modern folk side to the music shimmering through, again showing up in the second half of Dominion, with a laid back pop sound touching the edges of the song. Five minute closer Artefacts returns to the understated folky rock sound of the album, seeing the record come full circle.

I’d argue that this is one of those albums that better deserves to be listened to as a whole, and that something is lost when the tracks are taken on an individual basis. With a sound that ebbs from delicacy to force so neatly, it’s easy to sympathise with the wait that has preceded the album, and it’s been worth the time taken.

Listen to Influence below.

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