Who? Formed in Ottawa in 2003, the indie-folk quintet the Acorn consists of songwriter Rolf Klausener (also on vocals/guitar), guitarist/visual artist Howie Tsui, bassist Jeff Debutte, drummer Jeffrey Malecki, and on board from Montreal since 2006, Keiko Devaux on keys. Formerly on Kelp Records, the band's forthcoming second LP, Glory Hope Mountain, drops this week via Toronto-based label, Paper Bag.
What's the Deal? In the case of the band's principal songwriter, the Acorn doesn't fall far from the tree -- Klausener sings about his mother, Gloria Esperanza Montoya's voyage from Honduras to Canada, but it eschews fictional Decemberists-like narrative for one that is propelled by native Garifuna rhythms Klausener discovered while researching his mother's past. Tracks such as "Floor Pt. 1," with the pitter-patter percussion and airy guitar melody conjure images of Montoya's travels, while on "Napoleon," Klausener sings of his mother's distressing childhood experiences: "Will I follow you home again / Bite my tongue I taste your blood / I never thought I would bite hard enough" with his close-mic, intimate vocals. The undulating layers of string arrangements show much internalization occurred by all the members of the Acorn in Montoya's life story. It's almost folkloric.
Fun Fact: Last winter, keyboardist Keiko Devaux rode a live penguin down Montreal's Mount Royal icy slopes.
Now Hear This:
The Acorn - "Flood Pt. 1" DOWNLOAD MP3