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Band Crush: The Acre

May 13, 2010

The Acre have been kicking around Boston and beyond for the better part of a year in support of their debut record The Red Wool. Their sound covers a lot of territory. They delicately sweep over shoe-gaze-y and spacey sounds, but never forget their singer/songwriter roots. This five piece effectively encapsulates a full-band sound without anyone overplaying their part. The vocals are always able to float on top of the music, and all the instrumentation just seems in perfect balance with one another. This balance leads to a feeling that it could all fall apart at any moment, which of course it never does. With their sophomore record, Cerca Trova, in the works, and some shows on the horizon, The Acre are certainly a band to keep an eye on. The band in their words:

BBC: It’s been a year since the release of your record The Red Wool. What were some of the highlights and disappointments of this past year since the release of the record?

The Acre: One of the highlights would definitely have to be getting the opportunity to open for really phenomenal bands like Megafaun, Bowerbirds, A Weather and Horse Feathers. Red Wool really opened up some doors for us that we never thought we’d see. And people coming out to the shows and giving us money for something we’ve put our heart into is really a mind-blowing thing. We’ve been pretty lucky.

We’ve also had chance to make some additions to the band that have had a big affect on us – Danny, our keyboardist/guitarist and Matt, our drummer joined this past year. They’ve really been able to fill out the sound and make the band feel like a whole.

There haven’t been any disappointments with the record other than Radiohead giving the opening slot on their last tour to Grizzly Bear and not us – we’re still getting over it.

BBC: The Acre started out as an acoustic singer/songwriter type of project, eventually acquiring new members and fleshing out into a full band outfit. How was the transformation from acoustic to electric? How did the songwriting change? Were there compromises that had to be made?

The Acre: What we write about hasn’t changed so much as how we go about it. The songwriting point of view has shifted from creating little “folk diddies” to trying to have a more band oriented or a “big picture” thought process. Some songs are brought in and there isn’t a clear direction of what the band would do with them and then all of a sudden it becomes this beautiful thing. On the flip side, there have been others that haven’t made it that far because they don’t work in the band setting or the band would kind of crush the song.

There’s definitely a lot of conferring with each other, a lot of debate and a lot of collaboration in the creation of the songs, though. We may not always agree on everything, but the songs benefit from the different points of view everyone has.

We also used to have a cello player, Sebastian, in the band (who is now living in Scotland). Going from having a cello to a bass is different in regards to what we had been doing in terms of movement. Steve has done a wonderful job transcribing those cello parts to bass.

BBC: You have been playing the Boston area pretty regularly this past year in support of Red Wool. Have you been working on some new material that you plan to record in the near future? If so, what do you plan on doing differently this time around?

The Acre: We actually have recording dates lined up for early June. We’re headed into 1867 Studios with Chris McLaughlin to record another full length. Right now we have about nine or ten songs ready to go and are chomping at the bit to get in and lay them down.

In terms of what we’ll do differently this go ‘round, we have a better idea of what we’re doing as a band. This is the first recording we’re doing with the current line up and I think there is a clearer focus going in. On the last record we kind of sporadically hopped in and out of the studio at a couple hours a session for about a year where this time we have a week to do it and flesh it out which is really nice – we’re a bit more prepared for this one.

BBC: What Boston bands are you crushing on right now?

Nick: I’ve been really big into the new Mean Creek record they put out earlier this year. I saw them open for the Honey Brothers and they completely blew me away. I bought their record on wax and it’s been in a very consistent rotation.We’ve also had the pleasure of playing with Murder Mile, Camden, Drew O’Doherty, Daniel Ellenson and Lion Cub – all of whom are more than worth giving a listen.

Danny: We played a show at PA’s Lounge in Somerville recently with a band called Bell and the Bees. I was impressed with their sound.

Steve: I’m still crushing on J. Geils.

Matt: I really feel like our shows with Camden really fit. Their personalities flow well with ours – it’s like a bunch of friends getting together to play music. We all support each other which allows us connect even more.

Discography:

Free download from their debut record Red Wool: Lambs

And catch their next show at T.T. the Bear’s with Turin Brakes:

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