The Acorn Tin Fist

The Acorn Tin Fist
Photo: Aaron McKenzie Fraser
With this Ottawa, ON band keeping their second full-length tantalisingly at bay, this EP just ups the ante of that album by continuing their winning streak of melodic indie rock that, while familiar, also brims with confidence and originality. It’s as if with every release, the band seem to grow more comfortable with their skin, giving greater clarity to their songs. It is an unerring dedication to keeping the melody bright and forefront in the listener’s ears that actually makes the effort beautifully heart-melting. Though there is an undercurrent of melodrama throughout the songs, this actually gives some gravity to the circumstances. The stand out track is the urgent and undeniably catchy "Spring Thaw,” where the pounding drums and the yearning vocals of guitarist Rolf Klausener intoxicate and unconsciously make your hand reach for the repeat button when the last chord is struck. Even the more delicate pieces, like the slow burning "Heirlooms,” grab your ears with the pristine instrumentation that warms the cockles. To live in the music of the Acorn on this criminally-short EP is be surrounded by those who care for music and want it to thrive under any circumstances. They are the enablers of those who love to get drunk on melody. Please imbibe. How do the songs come together? Is it collaborative? Klausener: There have been a couple of songs where the basic idea is there and then we all jump in and make arrangements, but invariably whatever I bring to the band will never ever, ever sound like what it originally was in my head. With "Brokered Heart” I had a really specific idea of these crazy layers of guitars and clapping and all that stuff, but with "Dents” I didn’t expect Howie [Tsui] to do this awesome ukulele line, and didn’t know Jake [Bryce] was going to come in and do this great banjo stuff. But, generally, the music part is pretty collaborative.” Does living in Ottawa make a difference to the music? Guitarist Howie Tsui: Ottawa is kind of antithesis to trends in a way, like how people dress and stuff. I don’t know, maybe, subconsciously, when these songs come about we try to be against anything fashionable. Bassist Jeff Debutte: I don’t think it’s a hindrance. I mean, we’re a product of it even if you’re trying to not be Ottawa or trying to be more Montreal or not Montreal, and that’s almost an Ottawa thing in of itself. Yeah, I don’t think we’d sound like this if we were from anywhere else.” (Independent)