The Acorn's No Ghost is the perfect summer soundtrack
No Ghost (Paper Bag)
At first glance, there’s every reason to assume that No Ghost is going to be a bleak, depressing affair. After all, the Acorn has a reputation for pensive folk, and the band wrote most of its latest album in complete isolation in a cabin in rural Quebec. And then there’s the eerie album cover, a streaked and messy jumble of colours that resembles a devil’s head daubed in pinkish blood.
It’s surprising, then, that the album’s 11 songs eschew melancholy in favour of lush psychedelia and sprightly folk-rock. The careening “Bobcat Goldwraith” builds from back-porch guitar licks to a barrelling groove, culminating in a mug-swinging, horn-laden jig. The title track is similarly upbeat, weaving a dense web of brittle guitars and spaced-out keyboard swirls without even changing chords for the first minute.
Still, despite its easily digestible pop-rock energy, No Ghost isn’t built around hummable hooks or larger-than-life choruses. Instead, the album thrives on its warmth and intimacy, the airy harmonies and loose, unfussy jamming exuding an earthy coziness. This is never more apparent than on the album’s mellowest track, the quietly reverent “Misplaced”. Never rising above a whisper throughout the song’s three-and-a-half minutes, frontman Rolf Klausener coos, “You’re the late-night tussle /You’re the rumble in my room.” It shows that, whether serenading a lover or cutting loose with a paisley-tinged guitar jam, the Acorn has written the perfect soundtrack for your laid-back summer evenings.
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