Monday, November 2, 2009

herohill / music nova scotia artist of the month:: acres & acres

The release of the fantastic new record from Acres and Acres - All Nations (review) - has gone and come, sadly with little fanfare. Even with a coast to coast train tour, Kris Pope and David Scholten still fly under the radar in the city they call home. It's a shame, because the simple premise and recording style of All Nations resulted in a record that knocks you on your ass, but never hits you with a weight that is too much to handle.

Hopefully, the little bump a band gets from being dubbed the herohill / music nova scotia artist of the month will help them sell a few records and get some more bodies in the bars when they play (like they do this weekend in Yarmouth as part of Music Nova Scotia week). All Nations is one of the most honest, engaging roots records to come out of our province this year and one that should be getting much more love.

As a special treat, the band recorded some songs on their journey. The echoes of a Winnipeg train station really work for the band as they play a brand new song - You Never Know - and shows how when you take everything else away, their harmonies and melodies are what grab hold of you like a vice.

Acres & Acres - Money (live courtesy of

ACRES AND ACRES - Money from Mitch Fillion on Vimeo.

MP3:: Acres and Acres - Polar Bear Song

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Posted at 10:03 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reviews:: Acres and Acres All Nations

When you hear the name Acres and Acres, you can’t help but think of the vast landscapes that sprawl across this great country we call home. Thoughts drift to the open fields worked by the bloody, cracked hands of farmers and the kilometers of mountain rock blasted away by underpaid railway workers. It's part of who we are, but the Halifax duo turned those historical ingrained images into something remarkably tender, intimidate and personal.

Kris Pope
and David Scholten set out to record a simple record, littered with friends and familiarity, and full of heart. Instead of overdubs and studio magic, they headed to a few trusted locations with a few trusted friends and simply played, hoping the honesty of the results would speak for themselves, and boy do they ever.

All Nations takes on the feel and history of the rooms they were recorded (especially the songs recorded in All Nations Church), but exude warmth you wouldn’t expect from the sterile settings. The autumn orange and yellows come to life when the duo and their friends fill in open space on the recordings with spontaneity, smiles and love. Hearing silver voiced songstress Rose Cousins and Don Brownrigg support the infectious opener From a Forest, Amelia Curran trade vocals with the duo over Ian Bent’s organ on Joker or the gospel choir, soul feel The Ukeladies add to All He Needs starts you swaying and Kris and David do their best to keep you moving on each and every track.

Kris and David were very inspired by Harvest, and while the sounds do often head in the same direction, for me the biggest similarity is the social focus of the songs. The duo attack obvious flaws in our society with a powerful simplicity that we can all relate to – the environment on the Van inspired Polar Bear Song, homophobia (can’t you just picture haggard old Neil saying, “You say my gay friends are going to hell cause that’s a sin, well maybe I should join ‘em if the devil’s so acceptin’”), cell phones, money and greed – but never push to the point of pontification. They balance each thought with a playful stomp or a gentle sway, and countless enjoyable melodies.

Acres and Acres is having their CD release show here in Halifax @ the super intimate The Music Room on October 3rd. Since the venue seats about 40 people, I'd suggest emailing the band (aaacres AT gmail DOT com) to book in advance.

MP3:: Acres and Acres ft. Amelia Curran - Money

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Posted at 11:00 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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