13 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though currently based in Toronto, the Rural Alberta Advantage draw upon the Prairie Province heritage of lead singer/songwriter Nils Edenloff for inspiration. The RAA’s sparse, keening style of country-rock (akin to Son Volt, except edgier) provides a sturdy vehicle for Edenloff’s tense, unsettled lyrics. “Sleep All Day,” “The Air” and “Frank, AB” wrap palpable longing within blankets of melancholy, while “The Dethbridge In Lethbridge” and “Luciana” seethe with regret and self-recrimination. If such themes sound a bit heavy, they are leavened by Edenloff’s spiky guitar strokes and Paul Banwatt’s brisk, nicely splashy drum work. Especially tasty is the band’s playing on “Don’t Haunt This Place” (a jittery slice of post-breakup angst) and “Four Night Rider” (matching a galloping tempo with an uplifting lyric). The pastoral, fitfully hopeful “In the Summertime” brings this emotionally conflicted album to a satisfying close. While the RAA’s songs seem rooted in a specific time and place, there’s a universal quality to their tales of bruised love and strangled aspirations.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though currently based in Toronto, the Rural Alberta Advantage draw upon the Prairie Province heritage of lead singer/songwriter Nils Edenloff for inspiration. The RAA’s sparse, keening style of country-rock (akin to Son Volt, except edgier) provides a sturdy vehicle for Edenloff’s tense, unsettled lyrics. “Sleep All Day,” “The Air” and “Frank, AB” wrap palpable longing within blankets of melancholy, while “The Dethbridge In Lethbridge” and “Luciana” seethe with regret and self-recrimination. If such themes sound a bit heavy, they are leavened by Edenloff’s spiky guitar strokes and Paul Banwatt’s brisk, nicely splashy drum work. Especially tasty is the band’s playing on “Don’t Haunt This Place” (a jittery slice of post-breakup angst) and “Four Night Rider” (matching a galloping tempo with an uplifting lyric). The pastoral, fitfully hopeful “In the Summertime” brings this emotionally conflicted album to a satisfying close. While the RAA’s songs seem rooted in a specific time and place, there’s a universal quality to their tales of bruised love and strangled aspirations.

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