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Glory Hope Mountain

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Album Review

Though Canadian bands have seemingly been excelling at just about every form of pop music since the turn of the millennium, it's the album-length epic where they've really been outstanding. Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It in People, the Arcade Fire's Funeral, and Wolf Parade's Apologies to the Queen Mary have been three of the biggest, and the Acorn's Glory Hope Mountain deserves to take its place beside them. The Ottawa band's first full-length album after a series of EPs that have attracted increasing attention, Glory Hope Mountain is a good old-fashioned concept album, but an unusually personal one: Glory Hope Mountain is a rough English translation of the name of singer/songwriter Rolf Klausener's mother, Gloria Esperanza Montoya, and the album is an impressionistic rendering of her life, starting as a destitute orphan in her native Honduras. The impressive thing is that the average listener would never guess that from an initial listen or two: thankfully, there is no ham-handed narrative structure to the album's lyrics. That said, the incorporation of traditional Honduran folk forms into the arrangements of songs like "Flood" and "Low Gravity" feels completely organic in exactly the way that the Afro-pop affectations of Vampire Weekend's debut album do not, like a natural outgrowth of the songs and their meaning, not a "hey, this'll sound cool" add-on. The 12 songs flow beautifully, culminating in the simply gorgeous "Lullaby (Mountain)," a delicate acoustic farewell with Ohbijou's Casey Mecija's gentle vocals replacing Klausener's own. It's a perfect closer to an ambitious album that fulfills the musical and lyrical goals it sets for itself.

Customer Reviews

If you do not know the acorn, shame on you...

I photographed The Acorn at SXSW in 2008 in front of a crowd of approximately 200 people. Wasn't sure what to expect, but when they played, I was blown away. The acorn combines a great precussion sound coupled with well balanced melody, bass and Rolf's voice to top it off. A lot of their songs build up to a powerful chorus and stylistically hard to compare them to any one. They are a unique and fast up-and-coming band we are sure to see a lot more of in the future. The album is a tribute to Rolf's mother Glory and the title literally translates her real name into English. Jeffrey on drums, Jeff on bass, Keiko on keyboards and Howie on lead at the time I saw them produced the most enjoyable show combining great lyrics sung perfectly, great drum riffs and the steady hand of the bass at all times. Since then, I have bought all of their albums and constantly listen to them. At their web page, you can download for free Rolf's holiday songs. Really you can't miss with this album. Enjoy


I first heard teh Acorn by chance on Sirius XM satellite radio and "crooked legs" caught my attention with it's building rythyms and emotive melodies and lyrics. After checking their website to get a sampling of more tunes I was sold right away. The Acorn makes it hard not to like them if you enjoy music from the soul. It pours out of them through the heartfelt lyrics, driving rythyms with a unique flair and percussive aspect, steady bass grooves and great guitar melodies. Music that can give you chills and gives you hope all at once...purely marvelous! I will be passing this one to all my friends. Come to san francisco!

discovered them on Air New Zealand!

I had heard The Ghost and really found that album quietly seductive each time i played it. Happily I just discovered this album on the flight to Auckland and have to have it. Gorgeous, evocative, dreamy experience. Now I can't wait to catch this band live! Bravo!!!


Formed: 2003 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Canada became a hotbed for indie rock in the early 2000s, with multiple bands finding their footing in cities like Montreal and Ottawa before spreading their music to other areas. The Acorn differentiated itself from the pack by using acoustic instruments and conceptual themes, creating a sound that owed as much to experimental folk as rock & roll. Formed by songwriter Rolf Klausener as a one-man recording project in 2002, the Acorn released debut full-length The Pink Ghosts on Kelp Records in 2004,...
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