The members of Seattle rock’n’roll outfit Acid Tongue are quite literally bouncing off the walls. In fact, it’s hard to even call them a “Seattle band.” There’s the core duo of songwriter Keltner and drummer/vocalist Ian Cunningham —currently based in the Pacific Northwest — but with numerous touring and studio musicians scattered between Paris, New York, London, Mexico City, Los Angeles, & Austin, the rotating roster seems to grow larger by the day. The band’s forthcoming release, Arboretum (due December 3 via Freakout Records), takes things in the next logical direction. Part glam-rock opus, part mixtape, this LP from Acid Tongue marks a significant step forward for a band well-versed in straddling the line between psychedelia and power-pop.
Acid Tongue has been productive over the past 18 months, self-producing the 10 new songs on their third album, Arboretum. Each song is a collaboration with some of the best and brightest in underground rock and roll. The laundry list of talent includes Los Angeles psych-garage staples Death Valley Girls on the hard rocking “Take Me To Your Leader;” Canadian singer-songwriter Calvin Love on the disco anthem “All Out Of Time;” Seattle freak-rockers Naked Giants on the introspective “Won’t Walk Back;” Freakout Records-siblings Shaina Shepherd and Smokey Brights on “Facts of Life,” “Rock & Roll Revelations,” and “Suffering For You;” and Brazilian artist Libra on the album opener “Home.” Beyond the credited collaborations, 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). Guy Keltner, the primary songwriter for Acid Tongue, took a rough couple of years and turned them into libretto. “I became incredibly depressed and started spending a lot of time at the Arboretum in Seattle. 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.”