A day before its official release, you can stream Acid Tongue’s third album, “Arboretum,” below.
As always, the core of the Seattle psych/glam outfit is primary songwriter Guy Keltner and drummer Ian Cunningham, but they are joined on the LP by a slew of guests. Each of the nine tracks is a collaboration, including Death Valley Girls on “Take Me To Your Leader,” Calvin Love on “All Out Of Time,” fellow Seattle rockers Naked Giants on “Won’t Walk Back,” Freakout Records labelmates Shaina Shepherd and Smokey Brights on three tunes (“Facts of Life,” “Rock & Roll Revelations” and “Suffering For You”) and Brazil’s Libra on the opener, “Home.”
Keltner explains that a rough couple of years inspired “Arboretum,” which early reviews have hailed as Acid Tongue stripping back some of its theatrics but retaining its experimental spirit.
“I became incredibly depressed and started spending a lot of time at the Arboretum in Seattle,” Keltner says. “I had just moved home and was spending all day absorbing this diversity of plants and sounds at the park. I poured myself into writing some deeply personal songs, heavily influenced by the artists in my immediate orbit.”
During the recording of “Arboretum,” Keltner was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and decided to get sober from alcohol. “Kicking booze helped me focus in the studio, but I needed help finishing this album. I was incredibly fortunate to work with musicians that I actually listened to and enjoyed. They individually elevated each song to be something beautiful and unique.”
In addition to the above collabs, performers on the record include keyboardist Glenn Brigman of Triptides & Levitation Room, vocalist Matan KG (Paper Idol), bass guitarist Dustin Bookatz (Pearl Charles) and the band’s longtime string arranger Philip Peterson (Haim, Taylor Swift, Portugal the Man).
Acid Tongue will perform on New Year’s Eve at Substation in Seattle with Christian Bland & The Revelators before heading east for a Jan. 7 show at The Eye in Brooklyn. Other 2022 dates include May 12 at Zebulon in LA with The Detroit Cobras and a Sept. 9-through-Sept. 11 run at the Rock in the Barn Festival in Giverny, France.