Home Acres Aloha The benefits of long-distance indie rock

Listen: Aloha

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Download: "Cold Storage"

Standout Track: No. 7, “Cold Storage,” whose eerie keyboard sounds, focused rhythmic propulsion, and cinematic lyrics are hard to ignore on Aloha’s most rocking album to date. Ten years into the game and as creative as ever, Aloha has a history of layering odd, arpeggiated organs and precise-but-distorted marimba melodies atop intricate drum patterns. With Home Acres, songwriter Tony Cavallario says the band “really wanted to make a record that was more immediate, one that would jump out of the speakers.”

Frequency Flyers: Aloha laid down the song’s foundations at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, where member TJ Lipple engineers. Lipple and Cavallero then returned to D.C. and Boston, respectively, and crafted the details in their home studios. Cavallero sent Lipple e-mails telling him what he wanted, and Lipple “went crazy trying to fulfill that, and sometimes came up with better ideas,” Cavallario says. After stacking up Clavinet and synthesizer lines, Cavallario says he used “a crazy vintage string synthezier [he] bought at a junk shop” to get the finishing touches on the track.

Musical Motivation: The song stems from the perspective of a narrator who “lived the American dream, had become successful, and saw the world crumble around him.” Cavallario says the protagonist believes he “has the answer to save the world but can’t do anything about it because no one will believe him.” The song has a surprisingly lengthy coda with three overlapping melodies that weave in and out of drummer Cale Parks’ urgent pulse. The end of the song, Cavallario says, contains a “transcendent moment where everything’s major and everything’s more pretty, and it conveys the ascension of the main character.”

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