Immediately following their return from performing in Austin during SXSW, Acarya will release their new EP, Is Fio Glacies, on Saturday April 5 at Northside Tavern. The show will feature multiple guests, including Michael Ivins of the Flaming Lips (who plays the bass track on Sand Scribe). Supporting the bill will be two popular local bands, Green Light Morning and Zebras in Public.
“We want to move away from the auto-tune riddled, overproduced sound of Pop today and get back to the roots of music. Back in the day, nomads banged sticks on logs looking to talk back to thunder. That’s what we work to capture in our songwriting - the human condition of speaking back to what we don’t understand, through mimicking the sounds of nature,” says Liz Wu, percussionist for Acarya.
Unable to find a genre that fit them in the drop-down menus of online music networking sites, Wes Davidson and Liz Wu of Acarya decided to create their own. This power duo of acoustic guitar, percussion and vocals melds intricate harmonies and pulsating rhythms into an intense, energetic and mesmeric experience they have dubbed Tribal Rock. Though they have been compared to Rusted Root, Led Zeppelin, The Civil Wars and Dave Matthews, there is an edge to their sound that is wholly their own.
The duo is currently releasing the second CD in a series of EPs they refer to as “The Elemental Collection.” Each disc relates to a natural element. The first, Reperio Terra (Return to Earth) served up lush, soothing ballads that caress the ear like a warm embrace. The second, Is Fio Glacies (This Becomes Ice) is as variable as its element of water. From swinging, upbeat tunes like “Seasick Love” to the tumultuous drums of “Wading Waters” to the cool and simple sounds of “Wake,” this mini-album shows the breadth of the duo’s songwriting capabilities.
“If Reperio Terra was our ballad album,” says Wes Davidson, “then Is Fio Glacies is about the drums. You can really feel the heartbeat in the percussion. This is what we refer to as the tribal element in our music. We strive to keep our sound natural, organic, raw. It’s about creating a feeling, about sharing something real and not over-produced.”
“There is vulnerability in the music,” says Wu. “It’s not perfect, and it’s not meant to be. It’s meant to be truthful.”
The name Tribal Rock suits them perfectly, from the earthy sound of Davidson’s acoustic guitar and percussive strumming patterns to the unique integration of ethnic hand drums in Liz’s custom-made kit. The music is driving, dynamic and dramatic, resulting in an amazing richness of texture. Davidson’s voice shifts from introspective crooning to explosively powerful, with a tinge of urgency tempered by Wu’s soft and gentle backing vocals. Throughout every song there is a clear heartbeat that pulls everything together and creates forward momentum.
Another important note about The Elemental Collection - all of these songs were co-produced by famed music engineer and producer Erwin Musper, who has worked with a long list of notables, including David Bowie, Jon Bon Jovi, Metallica, Def Leppard, The Scorpions, and, more recently, Walk the Moon. Musper says, “This band achieves the almost impossible - a new and original take on this thing called Rock and Roll. Is it Rock? Is it Pop? It is Acarya.”
You can hear this ensemble live at their upcoming CD release concert on Sat April 5 at Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45223. Doors will open at 9 pm and Green Light Morning will open the show at 10 pm. Acarya will take the stage at 11 and play until midnight. Zebras in Public will close the show. They promise a night full of surprises, including special guests and new songs never before played in public. Admission is free, ages 21+.
w/ Green Light Morning and Zebras in Public
Saturday, April 5