We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Standout Track: No. 1, the euphoric “We Got the Love,” which sets up the six-song EP’s precocious blend of soul, psychedelia, proto-hip-hop and more. Over a tidy drum pattern and a patient guitar riff, the lyrics “We got the love/We got the power inside” are repeated in an R&B falsetto and then layered with bright harmonies. It’s part invocation, part mantra, part arena chant. It practically demands a sing-along.
Lips Service: Neither member of the Northwest D.C. duo has turned 20 yet, but they’ve soaked up a variety of influences from their parents’ record collections and elsewhere. The everybody-join-in vibe of “We Got the Love” bears hints of a certain idiosyncratic Oklahoma rock band, for example. “I’m probably the hugest Flaming Lips fan that’s never been to a Flaming Lips concert,” says Cheakaity Brown, who handles drums, bass, and lead vocals. “I’m heavily influenced by what Wayne Coyne does, and Stephen Drozd, like their live element…no matter how old they get, they still have that element of childlike-ness.”
Perfect in its Own Way: The other half of Acme, guitarist Joshua Davis, is quick to note, however, that the song initially was “pretty
spontaneous,” and that and he and Brown “weren’t thinking of any one artist” when they first worked up the hooks during a jam session. Likewise, the song’s epic guitar solo has humble origins, despite its obvious Prince influence. It’s not from a six-string—it’s from Brown’s mouth, with a bunch of effects added, because he didn’t have the skills to play anything like it. And what about the song’s lyrical minimalism? “I guess I was supposed to write more words,” Brown says, “but I never really got around to it.”