If Jeff Tweedy, Glen Hansard, and Sufjan Stevens met Tom Waits at Justin Vernon’s Wisconsin cabin, the result would be Acadia.
If Jeff Tweedy, Glen Hansard, and Sufjan Stevens met Tom Waits at Justin Vernon’s Wisconsin cabin, the result would be Acadia. Despite being Brooklyn-born, Kyle Wall’s second record is a closer reflection of his Scranton, Ohio upbringing than the gentrified borough he resides in. It’s a retreat, an intimate invitation to his mental musings, unhurried and lush in its puzzling prose, heightened by the best parts of folk and Americana.
Wall’s grained warble bares an undeniable comparison to Waits, not just in sound, but also in the pained delay of his enunciations. The tiptoe of keys dancing between the verses lightens the melancholy in a very Wilco-esque way. Seasoned pedal steel is painted on the tracks with a southern subtlety, the addition of organ adds a hymnal harmony to the record, and billowy to the ears, banjo compliments the flow of spoken word in the same way Sufjan Stevens used it on “For the Widows in Paradise".
In addition to its instrumental allusions, Acadia is the perfect example of the erroneous nature of understanding when it comes to complete thoughts in song. In the same way Matt Berninger (The National) or Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) can repeat the same powerful, nonsensical line over and over with cohesion unbeknownst to even the writers themselves, Wall’s seesaw between apathy and suffering is still felt amid the tango of strings and steel as he bellows thoughts like, “The books have spent so many nights alone here. Despite the ambiguity, the neglected library feels lonely with script unread and the suffocating sadness is still understood.
It’s private, a demonstration of poetry and the instrumental arrangements that give it power. Acadia sounds a little bit like everyone, but fused, a sound that mimics only Wall himself; A finely sculpted amalgamation of an artist with good taste and an honest stream of consciousness.