Acres and Acres look for higher ground

Acres and Acres seen her in the All Nations church in Halifax. (Mat Dunlap/Submitted)

Acres and Acres might have been created in Halifax but lead singer Kris Pope still thinks about coming back to Fredericton.

“There is something special going on in New Brunswick and we’re so happy to be a part of it. My girlfriend and I often talk about moving back,” said Pope.

It’s been three years since the release of Acres and Acres debut album All Nations but the duo have no plans to rest on their laurels.

All Nations was reviewed by the Moncton’s Times & Transcript as well as independent magazines from Canada all the way to the UK. The album gets its name from the Halifax church where most of their live recordings were done. The band sat down in the All Nations church with other Maritime artists such as Rose Cousins and Amelia Curran.

When listening through the album’s tracks, Acres and Acres tell a story. Minimal instrumentation allows their voices to get their messages across.

“When the record came out we did a national tour and then basically as soon as we got back, or shortly after, Dave [Scholten] had a baby. Then we took some time off but we sort of never really stopped. We did take months off but did shows here and there, then the next year we toured and started recording for the next album,” said Pope.

Scholten and Pope had planned to release their second album last year, but Scholten had another baby. They did another national tour, played at festivals and kept writing and recording material for their new album. Their anticipated album is a long time coming and will be released in November.

“Dave and I were just talking about it and we’ve both been really busy with other things, but for him he’s been able to keep music as a priority all the while having two kids. We’re also anticipating a quicker release for the third album,” said Pope laughing, unless Scholten has another baby.

Pope is from Belleisle, but spent two years in Fredericton before moving to Halifax in 2005 to concentrate on his music. He met drummer Jason Burns and bassist Ian Sherwood and the three had decided to start a band. They put out ads looking for a singer and Scholten replied. For three years they performed as the alt-rock band Down With The Butterfly.

When Down With The Butterfly fell apart, Pope and Scholten created something new. Pope doesn’t foresee the band getting back together but they did release an album last year on Bandcamp, an online music store, which had been in the works.

“It was a bit of closure for the band because it sat there for a long time. We wanted to move on and in order to do that it helped a lot,” said Pope.

When Pope lived in Fredericton he began discovering music and his passion for it. When he realized he wanted to pursue it further he moved to Halifax. Pope said Halifax is “a good place to cultivate music,” with so many musicians to play with.

“I went to open mics and putting myself out there but I really wasn’t that serious about it. It was when I moved [to Halifax] that I made it more of a life decision. I became way more involved in the New Brunswick scene after I moved away and it’s still that way.”

Pope is involved with the folks at Forward Music Group in Fredericton and enjoys coming back to town to play shows.

“No province has even come close to embracing Acres and Acres like New Brunswick has,” he said.

“It is by far our favourite place to play and this past year brought us to some really great young festivals like Dooryard Arts Fest, Shivering Songs, Folly Fest and Ham Jam. My girlfriend and I often talk about moving back.”

Acres and Acres album release show will be in Halifax at the All Nations church. Keep an eye out for a similar show the band might bring to Fredericton in February.

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