What comes to mind when one thinks of the Midwest? Grey skies, farmland, freezing winters, and hot, humid summers are all possibilities. Aloha’s fifth full-length record, Home Acres, does an impeccable job of encompassing all of that one might imagine life in the Midwest to contain, including the former attributes, as well as feelings of oppression, austerity, disappointment, and anxiety. They’ve created a slow-burning record with occasional, controlled bursts of energy that lends itself to their unique brand of progressive indie pop mixed with elements of late-’90s emo.

 

Always characterized by Tony Cavallario’s earnest vocals and every member’s virtuoso musicianship, Aloha is, to this day, the only band to ever get signed to Polyvinyl Records exclusively based on a demo. The interesting compositions and dense instrumentation are what make Home Acres stand out. “Building A Fire” starts the record off with pulsating, slightly distorted bass and fervent vocals that pull the listener in. From there, the album’s single, “Moonless March,” drastically picks up tempo and continues with distorted bass, as well as swirling intertwined synth and guitar lines that have come to be a staple of Aloha’s unique sound. After that, tempos rise and fall, but emotional intensity stays high throughout the entire album.

Sonically, Home Acres is expansive, and the band was able to build this landscape by utilizing elements of their previous acoustic EP, Light Works. The varied instrumentation is another trait that sets this record apart from the rest of the bands’ discography. While Aloha remains incredibly underappreciated, this record is sure to appease diehard fans and pick up some new ones.

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