Although there have been some pretty weighty new Nordic album releases in the last week ('Highasakite' etc), our Album of the Week probably hasn't had quite so much attention, and it's a stylish and beautifully written Indie guitar album from Norwegian band 'Acres Wild'. We've been pretty remiss in not writing about 'Acres Wild' previously, because their previous EP entitled 'Mona' was released back in 2017 and received widespread praise - and I've really enjoyed going back and belatedly listening to it. They're a 5 piece band from Oslo, and they feature amongst them none other than Simen Følstad Nilsen from the excellent 'Aiming for Enrike' - previously featured in NMR, also recommended by the great Jon Ivar Kollbotn when we interviewed him, and also playing at the excellent 'Strangeforms' festival in Leeds in April.
Their new album 'Patiently' opens with 'Cellophone Bricks', and it does feel like the opening of a post rock track, but nowhere near as self indulgent, as the vocals are introduced well under one minute, gentle and melancholy, with a flowing theme that carries the song forward. 'Playing it Safe' is an obvious choice for your latest new music playlists, with a catchy refrain, but I like some of the (maybe) unusual chord progressions which seem to take the song in a different direction. My favourite track on first listen was 'SpaceX' (an open application to Elon Musk's space initiative) , which just opens up with the most gorgeous fragments of melody, it's uplifting and satisfying. However 'Groupthinker' has just grown on me so much, stripped back to electric guitar and vocals, with a lovely long lilting tune and lyrics which stand out for consideration, 'It doesn't really matter how much you've invested, you've got to take the past for what it is' - simple enough, but they seem to gently hit home.
I like the patterns that the guitars weave in 'Shadowboxer', and the drum rhythms add to the mix, the tunes and sequences just evolve and change similar to a Steve Reich composition, it's just so clever. And after the short instrumental 'So I'll Stay', we're offered the intriguingly titled 'Next to The Clintons' to conclude, which builds slowly with a guitar theme that develops and then opens out with some gorgeous instrumental sections - maybe it reminds me a little of the much underrated English band 'Clearlake', but I'm not quite sure why.
'Patiently' is a short but sweet 7 tracks, so it's not a weighty release, but each track feels really special, and I have this personal attachment to pretty much all of them. It is heartfelt and beautifully written Indie Guitar music, with lovely melodies and intelligent lyrics, and in many ways I'd make a comparison with Finnish band 'Delay Trees', although in the case of 'Acres WIld' their music is more expansive, taking it in a welcome Post Rock direction. I'm always slightly embarrassed when we come across a band such as 'Acres Wild' so late, but the aim remains for us to discover good Nordic music and bring it to UK (and ever increasing USA) audiences, and I really think that 'Patiently' will be very well received by everyone in both those countries.
Nordic Music Review 8/10