ACR's Yearning Indie Rock Is Lathered Up with Comedy on 'Soapsud Clown'

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BY Alex HudsonPublished Jan 31, 2024

Aaron Read's comedy has grown increasingly surreal over the years; the most recent time I saw him perform stand-up, he spent part of the time on stage wearing a dog mask while lapping water out of a bowl.

His music, which he releases under the name ACR, is going in the same direction. His new six-song EP, Soapsud Clown, is somehow even more esoteric than his 2022 EP HEALTHY: there's a bittersweet psych-folk tune called "Premature Ejaculation," and Read often affects a hiccupy twang with his vocals. It's nearly funny enough to work as comedy.

But amidst the weirdness, there's a damaged beauty to these art rock tunes. Opener "Evil in My Head" begins with a "yee-haw" from Read before turning into an aching reflection on intrusive thoughts, the chaotic production (wordless barks, squelchy synths, clattering drum fills) contrasting Read's yearning to "be rewarded with silence."


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