Ottawa used to be a lumber town. For some reason, it got chosen as Canada's capital. Beneath the federal veneer, its rural origins linger, drenched in woodsmoke, bar-brawls and glinting saw blades. Two hours down river from Montreal, the woods get a little thicker and the air a little cleaner. It's a place where the city lights merge with constellations, and where The Acorn was born.
A disciple of folk with a strong penchant for experimental pop music, Rolf Klausener started writing under The Acorn moniker in the summer of 2002. Initially an excuse to teach himself home-recording, these furtive experiments would eventually become The Acorn's first full-length release, a mellifluous, electro-acoustic tribute to the Ottawa region, The Pink Ghosts.
Inspired by the road and the communities they discovered beyond their bucolic capital city, The Acorn made every effort to travel the country, touring independently and as often as they could. Throughout 2005, they forged ties with a new, burgeoning independent Canadian music scene which grew to include Ohbijou, Bell Orchestre, Timber Timbre, Great Lake Swimmers, Snailhouse and many more.
After several independent releases, the band was signed to Toronto's indie stronghold, Paper Bag Records. In 2007 and after months of interviews and ethno-musicological research, the band created its most ambitious and widely-acclaimed record to date, Glory Hope Mountain.
Not quite biography nor musical folk tale, Glory Hope Mountain, recounts the early life of Klausener's Central-American-born mother. The album's song-stories harbour the triumphs, sorrow and adventures of a remarkable life. Armed with Garifuna-inspired rhythms, gut-strings, ukuleles, marimbas and the collective's best songwriting to date, The Acorn created a stirring musical document·
Since the release of Glory Hope Mountain, The Acorn have toured Europe and North America extensively and accrued a cord of critical love for both their live show and their recorded output. They've graced the cover of Canada's National music magazine, Exclaim and were nominated for the 2008 Polaris Award.
In the summer of 2009, the Acorn retreated from two years on the road to an isolated cottage in Northern Quebec to begin work on their third full-length album, No Ghost. Songs took shape at all hours, crafted from hazy late-night improvisations, early morning melodies pulled from the thinning threads of sleep. Modernity clashed with the bucolic via exploratory percussion, feedback, acoustic textures and the natural surrounding sounds. The band then traded trees for telephone poles to finish recording in a sweltering heatwave at Montreal's Treatment Room Studios (Plants & Animals, Angela Desveaux). There, the breezy ease of rural surrounds was buried under sweat-caked skin and cracked asphalt, birdsong drowned out by thick air and engine hum. Set for a June 2010 release, No Ghost is a recording swaddled in dichotomy: togetherness and isolation, acoustic and electric, destruction and restoration.