September 10, 2015

Ace Enders – ‘Hiraeth’

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Ace Enders. Anyone moderately educated within with the pop-punk genre knows the name. If you don’t know it, you damn well should. Ace Enders is the genius behind ‘The Early November’, ‘I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business’ and of course his self-titled work ‘Ace Enders and a Million Different People’ (now just ‘Ace Enders’).

Hiraeth had very little momentum building before its release. This isn’t the first time Ace Ender’s has dropped an album with little to no warning. Last October, Ace dropped Growing In under ‘I Can Make A Mess’ out of nowhere. The entire album was a concept album he wrote while recording other musicians in his studio. Ace just has that kind of passion for music. Ace continues his exploration into concept albums with Hiraeth.

“Burning Your Eyes In The Sun” fades in with some subtle synth and a few delightfully catchy piano notes. ‘Monsters’ gives us that retro 80’s vibe we have all come to appreciate lately. It is easy to picture this song in a soon to be released B-Movie from Adam Wingard. ‘Illusion’ ditches the acoustic drums for an electronic backdrop and cranks up the synth. The lyrics are uplifting and a lot of fun to sing a long too. It is hard to imagine someone not smiling while hearing this song. ‘Carry On’ features classic Ace Ender’s acoustics with a belting chorus about heartbreak. ‘A Child Like Mind’ has an undeniably fun intro with Ace unleashing his best wolf impersonation. Yes, you read that right. Despite the abundance of synth, each track manages to stay unique due to sharp direction and creative harmonies by Ace.

It is clear Ace had a blast making this album. Hiraeth creates a very successful rebirth of 80’s synth with a pop-rock twist. Many of the songs contain little musical jingles that are designed to get stuck in your head. I would go as far to say this album is aimed at Ace’s family, specifically his kids. The songs are lighthearted and filled with vivid imagery, allowing the lyrics to craft an innocence that could only be aimed at them. The production is, as always, outstanding. Ace’s vocals are on point and never feel overdone or excessive. Though this album is far from anything pop-punk, it is still incredibly accessible for all ages and shows Ace Enders at his finest; branching out and giving his artistic name more depth.

Rating: 9/10

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