Reinvigorated with electronica
Ideally when a band takes an extended break, the hope is the hiatus will bring new creativity and ideas to the overall dynamic they were cultivating in the first place. Ottawa-based The Acorn seem to have returned with a new energy with their latest record Vieux Loup. The record reflects their acoustic indie rock roots while adding a new sonic wrinkle from more recent side projects.
Rolf Klausener, the songwriter and architect of The Acorn has spent the past few years immersing himself in, by all reports, a pretty hefty electronic scene in Ottawa via most notably the group Silkken Laumann, to say nothing of parties and to-dos he’s been throwing around town. The influence can be heard throughout Vieux Loup’s eight tracks, albeit with the acoustic underpinnings that differentiated his music from other indie rock groups in the early days. For example, the track “Cumin” is a reserved one with acoustic strums and little electronica flourishes underpinning Klausener’s soft singing. Meanwhile “In Silence” has a trance-like rhythm reminiscent of the work from the great Afro-Celt Soundystem.
Much of the record is reserved with moments of drum-inflected energy, but the music is strong enough to have garnered The Acorn its second nomination for the Polaris Prize, an award that goes to the best full-length Canadian album. Time will tell if Klausener can break through the borders of Canada into a more global appreciation. In the meantime, The Acorn seems content to explore its Ottawa roots more deeply.