Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
It's the line about rosy lungs that makes a striking first impression of The Acorn, even if that impression is within another impression. The Canadian band - just off a run of sold out European dates opening for Fleet Foxes - makes a great hobby of descriptive turns of the tongue, phrases that poke you some place unfamiliar and provoke a person to see the picture from a distinctly different angle. It's as if lead singer Rolf Klausener has a way of expression that functions as an enhanced appreciation of the simplistic matters and lesser described, ancillary objects that often are taken for granted and are thereby invisible to most, no matter their importance to everything else holding up. He takes his time with the right words and the right accents on the band's last full-length Glory High Mountain, said to be an interpretation of his mother's early years in Honduras in the 1970s prior to a relocation to Canada. It's such an appreciation of surroundings and individual leaves, individual petals and tiny clamors that it makes the kind of mature vision come alive, assuring us that it's not a work made by someone or a band that doesn't have a distinct frame of reference or an inquisitive streak. This is the exact opposite reaction that would come from a family vacation road trip, where a father is driving the car full of his family, trying to convince his children that they're really missing a lot of great scenery as they barrel through Nebraska, wanting nothing more than to never have to look up from their personal gaming devices or awake from their naps. It's all just blurry desolation, highway buffer as the land all just whips by. The land and the myriad sensations that arise from a babbling brook being listened to or a person being intimately studied by their movements and their visible insecurities are what are paused and intensely scrutinized for their beauty marks and individual charm. Klausener sings on "Hold Your Breath," "Rosy lungs were empty on the day that you were born/And no one thought you'd make it past the morning," and mentions transformative suggestions of a mother being a firefly that was buried beneath the earth and that firelight warms up beneath one's skin every night cold enough to need the help. It's a gratifying piece of story-telling that gets the same kind of impressive musical arrangement as full moon fighting with intermittent clouds and still finding more than enough little victories where it can emerge from behind and cast some natural light on the normally undocumented nocturnal conversations of the world.