Hushed, hallowed, and at times eerie, Ottawa group the Acorn make some very impactful music with “Heirlooms”, a song that goes along at a dirge-ish pace but still instantly draws the listener in. Things take a turn halfway through and the band’s sound becomes more urgent, making for a gorgeous, slow-building finale that makes the nearly seven-minute track breeze by. The opener leads seamlessly into the folksy “Dents” and again plops some great instruments (in this case a banjo) on top of this solid foundation, resembling the likes of fellow Canadians Elliott Brood. Criminally short (as all great EPs tend to be), the Acorn make the most of each fleeting moment, particularly during the winding, majestic “Brokered Heart”, which sounds like a song Morrissey might take a stab at. Although picking the best of the bunch here is an arduous task, perhaps the Acorn are at the top of their fine game during “Feral Chile”, which works on several levels despite a number of twists and mood changes. “Spring Thaw” meanwhile sounds like the perfect complement to a mix tape featuring Coldplay, U2, Arcade Fire and Explosions in the Sky.
// Notes from the Road
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