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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 24, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 08
Mike Acerbo, Gay singer-songwriter, releases debut album
Arts & Entertainment
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Mike Acerbo, Gay singer-songwriter, releases debut album

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Folk rocker Mike Acerbo released his debut album, The Search, February 14. Ten years in the making, the album combines a unique array of sounds, drawing comparison to the likes of Sufjan Stevens, The Avett Brothers, and Guster. With intricate arrangements of cellos, fiddles, piano, recorders, brass, and guitars, the album unwinds into a fairytale full of dark imagery, with an otherworldly feel that rivals that of Florence + the Machine.

'I titled the album after a song that I wrote when I had conceived of the idea to record an album about my own personal quest of self discovery,' Acerbo, 41, told Seattle Gay News. 'Most of the material deals with my own conflicted journey through life. The people I've met, loves that I have lost, friends now gone.'

When asked what type of audience he penned the album for, Acerbo answered, 'I once read an interview with Stevie Nicks and she answered that question perfectly: 'I write for people whose roots have been blown away.' I was one of those people. That's my audience, too.'

'The album is a dark fairy tale,' he continued. 'A personal story of loss, confusion, and struggle laced together with a bit of magic.'

Acerbo said he loves all sorts of music, but 'I really wanted to create my own sound that incorporated folk, rock, pop, Irish, country, and indie music.'

'I very much wanted to create a record that you could sit with and listen to from start to finish and feel like you had been on a journey,' he told SGN. 'The CD packaging was created larger, like a mini-record, with the beautiful artwork of Darcy May, and includes a poem I wrote. It has a storybook feel to go along with the music.'

'I didn't fully embrace music until my late teens,' Acerbo, who grew up in a middle-class family in the suburbs of New York City, said. 'It was the perfect way for me to express myself and escape the confusion and difficulties I had at the time.'

'I sing because I've always loved to,' he said. 'There is always music in my head and the next best thing to that is having it in the air around me. I can't help but want to sing - it's compulsive, and I feel good when I do.'

Acerbo identifies as a Gay man and does not hide the fact from his audience. 'I do, however, consider myself a musician who happens to be Gay,' he said. 'Being Gay is one of the many aspects of who I am; it is important that the community knows that I am, but I identify first as a musician when it comes to music.'

'One of the great things about art and music is that they transcend our differences and have the power to open up dialog and create connection where there may have been none,' said Acerbo. 'I don't listen to the radio and think, 'That's a Gay singer.' I just hear a voice or song I like and dig it. Later I will find out about the artist and who they are. Their story is always secondary but equally compelling and powerful.'

'I love my Gays,' he says of his Gay fans. 'We 'get' good art, music, movies, etc. Most of my Gay fans don't normally listen to my style of music, but they appreciate and like it. I hear that all the time.'

'Gay Pride for me is appreciating and acknowledging that my sexuality is one of the many gifts that God has given me,' he said.

Currently, Acerbo is starting rehearsals with his band and will begin playing in New York City.

'From there, I will eventually start to tour,' he said. 'I just released a video that can be seen on YouTube for the song 'Trilby.'

For more information, visit his official website, www.mikeacerbo.com.

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Mike Acerbo, Gay singer-songwriter, releases debut album
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