In discovering The Acorn, a project created by Rolf Klausener, this week I was faced with more than a decade of songwriting and evolution of both style and personality. Vieux Loup is the first album Klausener has put out under this name in five years. I decided to dig in to this new album as well as pieces of No Ghost and Glory Hope Mountain to learn a little bit about the story of the band.
Vieux Loup is indeed a departure from The Acorn of the last decade. While the often present electronic beats do inspire a bit of head bobbing, the subtlety of their presence makes the whole album feel more introspective and distant. In some ways, the album feels like a collection of snow globes; each was carefully constructed to have it’s own atmosphere.
The songs range from incredibly stark, slow, and somber (Vieux Loup), to upbeat and dance-like (Palm Springs, Influence), but as a listener I can’t help but feel like I’m looking in from the outside on all of them. This in part due to the heavy reverb, and partly because of the quietness of the bass and drums relative to the textural instruments. The combination of these qualities creates a fascinating aesthetic. Many of the songs walk a fine line between feel-good beat-driven dance music and self-exploring singer/songwriter material. This contrast is part of why the album works.
I would give Vieux Loup a 7.5/10
Alex Heflin is a musician, writer and photographer from Los Angeles.