Aloha: Home Acres

Aloha’s 2000 debut album That’s Your Fire arrived at a time when freeform song structures and jazzy instrumentation dominated the indie scene, and in that context, Aloha’s addition of recognizable melodies to the usual post-rock stew seemed almost radical. Now the situation is reversed, and in an indie scene replete with breezy, polished guitar-pop—a description that definitely fits Aloha’s sixth album, Home Acres—the band’s persistent embrace of experimentation sets it apart. Aloha is still trotting out the vibes—though less often than a decade ago—and frontman Tony Cavallario is still doing his best James Mercer-by-way-of-Lou Barlow-by-way-of-Colin-Blunstone impression over music that rumbles and shimmers. But songs like “Moonless March” and “Searchlight” are more forceful and energized than the Aloha of old, while songs like “Everything Goes My Way” build from a simple cadence to something grand. And while Home Acres reverts every now and then to formless mush, the album ends beautifully with the pounding, organ-washed “Ruins,” which summarizes the record’s whole approach: rising from a murmur to call to the heavens.

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