Acquaintance EP is anything but pale

Dave Emrich

Boasting a fair amount of clout as far as Canadian indie rock goes, Acquaintance is a force to be reckoned with. This pseudo-super local artist supergroup features former members of the local act Vacuity, as well, the bassist Ruby Bumrah is a former member of Pilot Speed who earned themselves a Juno nomination a few years back. Rounding out the lineup on keys and vocals is Beth Hawkins, a prominent local singer-songwriter. The lineup has collective touring experience with legendary Canadian acts such as Sam Roberts, Death From Above 1979, Sloan and Our Lady Peace and now after a few years in the studio slaving away, working their fingers to the bone writing and recording,
the band is finally releasing their first

While unfortunately having to wait until their Friday June 12 release party at the newly re-opened Boathouse in Kitchener for the full six song EP, I was fortunate enough to get a preview of three tracks from the upcoming release.

When asked what genre Acquaintance describes themselves as they referred to themselves mysteriously as “headphone rock,” however upon actually dawning headphones and getting up close and intimate with the music (something that listeners need to spend more time doing, frankly) it’s very clear that this is the only accurate description.

With a sound that ranges everywhere from polished to raw, from epic to mellow, from aggressive to somber, it’s safe to say that there’s a new treat to find every time you listen. Featuring elements of country influenced rock, most notably featured in the track Bring Your Animal, at times this five piece shows clear influences from acts such as early, ambient Elliot Brood as well as Murder by Death.

The ambient and flowing sound throughout is matched only by nearly flawless production, which makes this an absolute treat to listen to from a audiophile’s point of view – something that can’t necessarily be said for even the most successful of Canadian rock bands.

With all the additional accents and percussive elements constantly creating interest for the listener, it’s safe to say that referring to these as just “songs” is an unfair label – these are far more compositions than they are songs and their hard work shows in spades.

While you can hear their first single “Miles Apart” on their website now it’s recommended that you head out to the Boathouse on June 12 not only to grab a copy of the full six song release of Beyond the Pale but to see these compositions being played live, because with quality production and musicianship like this one can only imagine that their live show will be, without question, something to be seen.