“He’s probably one of the best assets to the band because he’s more compelling than anyone we’ve had before,” founding member and guitarist Alex Freeman says. “And he’s good with words - he’s just a good storyteller. He can be having a bad day, and write a song about it, and people can be like ‘Woah, this speaks to me’”
Starting out as what Alex refers to as a “straight up Screamo band”, Acres began building an impressive fanbase through sheer handwork and determination. 2017’s ‘In Sickness & Health’ EP was a haphazard affair, with the band taking six months to write an album’s worth of material which the new singer had to adapt then to; recording his vocals and trying to make his mark amongst the avid, heavier-inclined fanbase. Now it’s time for Acres to bring it all together and put themselves to the test.
Constructing the ethos of Acres around one word - honest; from their penchant for emotionally charged tunes paying homage to the lives around them to the amalgamation of metal sounds, punishing breakdowns included, with pop-punk melodies and more focused singing, everything has its reason and motive.
“I like to write songs that everybody can connect to,” Ben ruminates. “I don’t want to get them too personal where everybody is like ‘Woah, what the fuck is this’ but so a lot of people can connect to it, and the people can connect to the band in a way that they know they’re not the only ones going through it.”
Of the titular track, he says; “I had a friend who lost everything - he lost his house, lost all his family, and he threw everything away he had for this girl and ended up living in a car. I put him up in my house for a couple of months after he’d called it off with the girl, and we were just having beers and talking, and he actually said to me, ‘oh man, it’s a lonely world’, and that was straight away where I got the inspiration.”
It’s not just ‘Lonely World’ that finds its subject matter in the real lives of Acres. ‘Medicine’ is a track that tackles anxiety, depression and “every day struggles that everybody has” according to Ben. “I come from a family that suffers from depression, I’ve not had [it] before, but for me, that song was trying to understand it, after having a conversation with somebody who said ‘unless you have it, you don’t get it’.”
Ben’s words might indeed be a focal point, offering an olive branch of hope in times that can feel endlessly hopeless, the musical elements within, and their open facing approach to being true to who they are is equally important. Cinematic flourishes littered across the album come thanks to the sound-designer mind of guitarist Theo Sandberg, while the rapturous drums come courtesy of Konnor Bracher-Walsh, resulting in a powerhouse sound that can take as much from you as it gives.
The intensely rich tapestry of life that makes up ‘Lonely World’ is certainly befitting of such turbulent times like those we live in 2019. Fortunately, Acres are ready to be the soundtrack to those arduous days and nights, and while it very well may seem often seem a lonely world, with Acres, things feel a little less so.