On their recently released sophomore EP, ‘All Heart’, alternative/indie quintet Acadia showcase a stirring collection of raw, emotive songs that don’t deserve to go unnoticed. Over the course of its six songs, vocalist Jameson Trudel pours his heart out on songs such as ‘Raymond Arthur’, ‘All Heart, No Feeling’ and succulent acoustic ballad, ‘Callisto’. While ‘Dryspell’ carries itself with a haunting beauty before ‘Palisades’ punches you in the gut as Trudel cries “no parent should have to bury their child”. Through all his turmoil, ‘Doris Marie’ sees the EP end on an empowering note of unity.
For all of their heartfelt lyrical outpouring, ‘All Heart’ isn’t spurred on by a dislike for Acadia’s hometown of Portland, Maine. Not to be confused with the Oregon city of the same name, it is the most populous city in the state of Maine. As hinted by its name, Portland has a history of making use of its coastal location through trade, and in recent times, cruise ships.
While “The Forest City” isn’t known for producing many bands, legendary American author Stephen King and movie actress Anna Kendrick are amongst its famous sons and daughters.
To teach us more about what Portland has to offer, we spoke to Acadia’s Jameson Trudel. He went on to discuss how the local music scene is a melting pot, the influence of The Halo Studios and why he won’t write a song about his hometown.
We are from Portland, Maine! We live in such a beautiful state that holds some of the most inspiring nature anywhere in the world. This always all artist and musicians to use the beautiful landscapes and scenery when writing. We can drive 15 minutes to the beach, or 20 minutes to rock cliffs, or drive 30 minutes to both in the same place.
Its People and Culture:
Weirdly our namesake Acadia National Park is probably one of, if not, the most famous landmark. Mainers are known for being a little different. We are the only US state that borders just one other state and a French Canadian influence can be seen all over the state.
The Music It Inspires:
Maine’s music scene is a melting pot of many different genres. With media so accessible, I would say that has had the biggest influence on the music scene like most, but you can definitely feel that isolation of our state also plays a piece in how our scene is cultivated.
The Local Music Scene:
It’s definitely home to a lot of different genres. I really can’t think of any particular ones that we would be known for.
Its Most Famous Musical Sons and Daughters:
The ones that come to mind are Ray Lamontagne, Rustic Overtones, Spose, Paranoid Social Club, and Sparks the Rescue. I think this list shows the diversity of our music culture. Our most successful artists are a folk singer, rock/jazz band, a rapper, a rock band, and a pop band. We love every band that makes a name for our state. Maine’s music scene is a tight-knit community and when any band makes a name for themselves, we are proud.
Its Unsung Heroes:
That title, in our opinion, doesn’t go to a band. It has to go to The Halo Studios. It is a state of the art studio in Windham, Maine. If a band is making noise in our area, you can almost guarantee they had their record done at The Halo. Darren Elder, the owner, is a huge local music supporter and spends so much of his time dedicated to building Maine’s music scene and helping local artists. Kevin Billingslea, who produced both of our records at The Halo, and John Wyman have had their hands on some of the best releases to come out of our state.
The Bands To Watch Out For:
There are some really great local New England bands, but if you want a few names The American Classic is a brand new band by some really talented homies that we think are gonna do some pretty awesome things. We are actually doing a summer bash show with them on June 1st at Portland House of Music. Our friends in Sleep Spirit, out of Manchester, New Hampshire, are also a band to watch.
The Venues We Visited:
We visited so many growing up. To name a few; The Cave, State Theater, Port City, and Empire. Each venue was obviously a different experience. I’ll give you the two extremes.
The Cave was a small shack in the middle of nowhere Maine that I got to see some of the best heavy bands of the 2000’s. Every show was always wall to wall and the sound was muddy but that didn’t matter because the energy in the room was absolutely amazing. In contrast, we have seen some amazing national acts come thru state theatre which is a much different experience which brings more of a sonic reality to what music can be live.
The Venues We Played:
Port City and Empire. Some of our biggest shows have been at Port City. We’ve been blessed to be able to open for Four Year Strong, Silverstein, and Movements at Port City which really allowed us to get our name out there. People got to see us playing with some great national acts and it really helped in creating the buzz. We cemented the buzz with some of our own headline shows at the venue we have called home for the last two years, Empire. Some of our most favourite shows have been there. Our fans and friends screaming back our lyrics to us and there is no blockade which makes for an amazingly intimate experience.
If I Wrote A Song About My Hometown:
We have refrained from writing a song about where we are from because at least in our genre it seems to be one of the biggest cliché’s writing about “your hometown”.
One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever learned was, take a common theme and turn it on its head. For example, in most fantasy or science fiction books, the good guys win and the bad guys lose. But what if the bad guys had won? So I think if I was going to write a song about my hometown, it would be something like ‘what if my hometown never existed?’
‘All Heart’ EP by Acadia is out now on Innerstrength Records.