ACUA – Track by Track

Foto-© Jennifer Friedrich

Zuletzt haben wir die Psych-Pop-Alternative Band ACUA schon aus dem Kölner Band-Schmelztiegel ausgegraben – nun bleiben wir natürlich auch am Ball! Seit 2018 aktiv hat sich das Trio vor der Pandemie eine auffallend internationale erste Reputation mit ihren Songs aufbauen können. So war die Band schon 2018 auf Kanada-Tour und im Januar 2020 für acht Shows in Japan. Neben Supportshows für u.a. FKJ, Japanese House oder OMNI spielten ACUA insgesamt mehr als 50 Konzerte noch vor der Veröffentlichung ihres Debütalbums Head Under Water aus dem Jahr 2020.

Doch in 2022 steht für Patrick Braun (Gesang, Gitarre), Caroline Prinz-Holtorf (Schlagzeug) und Igor Franjić (Bass, Synths) natürlich alles im Zeichen des neuen, am 12. August via Papercup Records erschienenen Albums Is There More Past Or More Future – und zu diesem hat uns das Trio ein Track by Track geschrieben!

1. Help Me Up

The opener for the whole album is meant as a bright start in sound, but a hard and dark start lyric wise. The song is like a shimmering, ornated door you look at and know it leads to another mystical place far away. You feel that there is heaven and hell inside. It’s that kind of a door you have to open to let yourself fall into the whole thing. Feeling like an old tree in search of sunlight, you straighten yourself up into every direction to get just a little light. If you try really really hard, you will see that you can actually move and make it to the sunlight. The inspiration for this image came from a Dinosaur Jr. record cover. Maybe you know which one?

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2. Something Less Affected

This is actually a very old song and for a long time we didn’t know what to do with it. But the lyrics always felt right, especially this one sentence “I expected something less affected”, so it ended up on the album. It has kind of a Beatles vibe, which we really like and also the dreamy “everything is circling” intro that falls into a straight pumping, bold beat. In the very silent middle part you can hear Patrick playing an acoustic guitar, while sitting in front of the TV – there are background noises and even a loud click in it. This original mobile phone recording ended up in the final song. It was perfect for the hard cut from the staged, big sound into the super direct, close and intimate chamber of Caroline and Patrick singing along with each other. The song is about ending up in a superficial world, full of weird behavior and weird people. You didn’t expect such a big difference between yourself and this world and wonder how you ended up there.

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3. It’s Raining

You could probably call this the Corona song. We’ve had this weird image in mind, that you sit inside your flat, looking out of the window without seeing anybody for hours. Living in a city for several years – we need the feeling, that the world outside moves on, that everything is rushing and noisy as normal. And it was a total break up with that. So it felt like you lay down in your flat and it started raining through the ceiling. You continue to look up and let the rain drop in your open eyes, just stop caring. We all like this song a lot but every time it‘s on our setlist for a live show we end up skipping it. It‘s a little running joke on stage now.

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4. What Will They Think About You

“Be yourself, but behave yourself, everyday a new catchphrase”. This line just popped up like a cheesy sugar lollipop and fitted perfectly to the weird quirky chords of the song. A friend described the sound of the synth as pressing a lemon, we like that image and we like lemons, so it’s a good fit. It’s also the only real pop song and we still have to prepare for our live show – never played it so far. Maybe a good encore song.

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5. Ghost Train

Do you know that Mac DeMarco ghost train music video? It feels a little bit like this image. You need someone to nudge you through this loud, brash world, where everything is screaming in your face. You’re so overwhelmed that you become numb. We did two drum recordings for this. One was very classic, boom, chak, boom, chak. And the other one was this kind of a jazzy vibe. The recording is a little off and noisy but it felt right pairing it with the super 80s big room baseline. One of the only songs without solos or anything additional, kept it simple here.

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6. Stay High

This song tells an adventures road trip story and comes along with an animated music video that suits the song perfectly. Playing it live is huge fun, as it has some nice drops and a good energy! We even kind of get pushed into different roles while playing it. It’s really interesting, for some reason it makes us leave our shy shoegaze stage personalities and takes control over us like a hidden dark power. That’s cool.

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7. Let’s Be Quiet

You don’t have to say anything, it’s alright, I understand you without words – that’s what this song is about. An image of sitting next to each other, not talking, just watching the sunset and feeling peaceful and understood. We play a small version of this as an Intro now. It has a cool opening vibe, saying: Let yourself fall into this space, which we’ll open up now. Also it consists only of one very important stylistic device of the band: drum fills. Haha.

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8. Coexist

Still a weird puzzle piece and we often asked ourselves: „Does it belong to the album? Is it too euphoric?“ Definitely a rare song for us, where it‘s just 100% emotional expression, without thinking too much. The song is about the longing for someone unknown who belongs to you, a mix of a painful and hopeful thought. He/she/them is somewhere hidden in the world, but you don’t know where. Probably on another continent, or maybe just around the corner. We just know that we are coexisting.

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9. Orange World

When writing a song, we often have images in mind. In this case it was the orange sun dawny atmosphere of being lost in the desert. The song was kind of an experiment with all the percussion like drums, but it turned out to become one of our favorite songs to play live. It’s not easy to cover everything of the audio production when playing it live, as there are so many layers of drums, but we found a good way to make it work. The live version also has kind of a latin feeling in the end, but with huge energy to it.

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10. Is There More Past Or More Future

We are closing the book with this top line. The phrase stood out the most to us and that‘s why it‘s also the album title. Searching for the answer is like opening one door after another, “Is there another deep large room inside the smallest?”. It’s a question with one thousand answers and no answer at all – at the same time. Thinking about it makes your head explode. It feels and is meant as fireworks in your head.

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Bedroomdisco-Gründer, Redaktions-Chef, Hans in allen Gassen, Golden Leaves Festival Booker, Sammler, Fanboy, Exil-Darmstädter Wahl-Hamburger & happy kid, stuck with the heart of a sad punk - spreading love for great music since '08!

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