Glad Hearts- The Oak and the Acorn

Glad Hearts - The Oak and The Acorn

The Oak and the Acorn is the self-released debut from the New Jersey band Glad Hearts.  The quartet does an excellent job of blending folk and indie rock to create beautiful and fanciful narratives. The band also supplemented an extra batch of instruments to the songs giving them a more epic and passionate sound.  The record was produced by the band’s multi-instrumentalist John Valencia.

The songs on the record are charmingly touching, yet there is a sense of hope in the lyrics; “we get paid on Friday, by Tuesday we’re all broke” sings Ryan Bing on the opening track “Raise Those Roof Beams”, emanating a sentiment of struggle that engages one to relate with perhaps his frustrations and pains of daily life.  Glad Hearts are adventurous in the way they speak to the listener. Bing sings “tell me there’s more” on “Come July” displaying his optimism, a sentiment that is infrequent in today’s music scene.  “Burn and Burn Bright” is a gem, the acoustic guitar along with the whistling builds an uplifting sound nearly making one forget that the lyrics are solemn. An apparent illustration of that optimism is heard on “We’ll Need Our Blood” when Bing sings “we’ll fail till we succeed” demonstrating the album’s message of hope.

“Nothing If We’re Not Moving” is cleverly assembled, making it a highlight of the record with its lush melodies and well written lyrics.  “West Fast Enough” reads like a brilliant poem, and the music is faintly reminiscent of Neutral Milk Hotel.  The album ends strong with “Your Heart Is A Muscle The Size Of Your Fist” a more sinister song lyrically yet still musically lustrous.

The Oak and the Acorn is a solid album, the songs are not catchy, but they have substance.  On this effort, the band is successful in letting the listener into their personal world, thus creating a sort of music documentary of the band.  New Jersey, a state not known for its indie music scene could use more bands like Glad Hearts.