When David Scholten speaks, people ought to listen. The lead singer of Acres and Acres, the harmonic folk duo out of Halifax displays a poignant penchant for expressive his own personal truths on All Nations, their latest full-length. His voices creeps from side to side as a natural, gentle current might, making for some pretty compelling listening. Yet despite the obvious imagery, (Including the gatefold photo of row upon row of church pews) Scholten’s lyrics are never preachy. Instead, Scholten’s delicate use of poetic license adds a heartwarming touch to this honest and compelling listen.
Things start almost immediately, with Scholten diving into a foreboding unknown with “From a Forest,” the apocolyptic, Gordon Lightfoot-inspired tale of the future. (“It’s been a cold and confusing World War Three”) Though Scholten and principal bandmate Kris Pope lighten things up musically on the next track, with calm island vibes on “Money,” there’s still a lyrically dedication to examining the world that surrounds this duo. And as “Money” attempts to relinquish society’s dependence on the bling, All Nations presents an obvious yet commendable motive; Scholten’s desire to exercise healthy amounts of liberation.
“Don’t Come Knockin’” only cements this notion, as Acres and Acres sway through a dustic, bluesy jam that seems hell bent (Sorry, couldn’t avoid it) on exposing the ills of Christianity. Late in the record, its where Acres and Acres really show their chops and show heaps of promise for the future. Showing as much fervour as early Ben Harper (“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’”) Acres and Acres have cemented their place at the forefront of bands emitting a potent and enlightened groove.
By Joshua Kloke[Rating: 3.5/5]