By Willow Grier
After releasing the acclaimed 2007 concept album Glory Hope Mountain and a handful of assorted EPs, Canadian indie-folk group The Acorn unveiled the refreshingly dynamic, psyche-infused No Ghost in 2010. Almost four years later, they have returned with another evolution of form. Vieux Loup ranges from sprawling acoustic tracks to experimental disco influenced grooves; the opening songs are cozy and full of beachy echoes and affected pondering. This feeling culminates with “In Silence,” which begins effortlessly sweet and almost hesitant, then building to an unexpectedly raucous crescendo. While much of the songs stay within the bounds of pretty and emotive, they’re not overly remarkable. That said, Vieux Loup does improve in its closers. The album’s title track, which name translates to “Old Wolf,” is reminiscent of Great Lake Swimmers best works with a minimalism that serves its shyly pretty resonance well. In contrast, “Dominion” is full-bodied and warmly western, displaying striking vocal harmonies and earnestly rousing complementary guitars.
All told, while Vieux Loup is pleasantly intimate with several high notes, some songs read as lacking instead of minimalist. The release would have been better strategically cut and released as an EP.The Acorn, Vieux Loup