Library visits pay off for Howie Tsui (left), Jeff Debutte, Rolf Klausener, Jeffrey Malecki and Keiko Devaux.
THE ACORN with OHBIJOU at Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor West), tonight (Thursday, November 27), 10 pm. $10. 416-870-8000.
If their recent flurry of touring activity is any indication, Ottawa indie-folk six-piece the Acorn are seriously branching out.
"We've never done a six-week-long tour before," admits lead singer and songwriter Rolf Klausener from the band's van somewhere between Detroit and Chicago.
In their approach to songwriting and dealing with the all-important industry buzz, the Acorn seem to be taking the scenic route, allowing things to happen naturally.
What started as Klausener's solo acoustic CD-R project back in 2002 has flourished over time. The Acorn created a pair of self-released EPs that attracted the attention of Toronto's Paper Bag Records. But while PBR was busy pressing the Acorn's 2007 EP, Tin Fist, Klausener was already prepping their culturally rich debut LP, Hope Glory Mountain.
"It was just a little idea that snowballed into a bunch of things I never expected," says Klausener.
He's talking about a series of interviews he conducted with his mother (who left Honduras for Montreal at a young age) for posterity, which ended up becoming the inspiration for the record.
"It was a very organic process that lasted almost two years," he says, "I never laid out a big plan - it was very off-the-cuff."
Over the course of two years he painstakingly wrote grant proposals and researched native Honduran mythology and musicology - a process that sounds more like grad school than making a rock record.
But the bookworm approach appears to have paid off. Hope Glory Mountain has won critical acclaim, earning a long-list nod from the Polaris Prize, and Paper Bag has just released The Heron Act, a 10-track compilation of the Acorn's live recordings.
While Klausener says he's looking forward to Thursday's show as "a homecoming of sorts," he's already plotting his next growth spurt: a solo record and a new Acorn LP sometime next year.