Another success story from our neighbors to the north, Canada’s The Rural Alberta Advantage has found its folk-tinged indie rock in heavy rotation in my playlist as of late. Departing, the band’s sophomore effort, was released in March on Saddle Creek Records. Even though it’s not quite as uniformly awesome as the ’09 debut, it still features some of the RAA’s best work. As a whole, the band is cohesive and fun to listen to. Singer Nils Edenloff’s vocal style is somewhere in between Neutral Milk Hotel and The Tallest Man on Earth, and it absolutely works. It’s the surrounding members who make this possible – The Rural Alberta Advantage is a trio and they’ve obviously achieved that hard-to-master three-piece sound. So many bands try to trick themselves up in search of being the next epic band; to be the next Arcade Fire or Broken Social Scene or whatever (Canadian powerhouses!). The RAA is a well-rounded group that packs a punch when it comes to indie rock, but knows when to slow it down and tug on heartstrings.
The first single off the record, Stamp, might just be my favorite song to date by the Toronto indie rockers. It’s definitely the rock-influenced apex of the record, fast paced and full of driving force. Stamp is a song that won’t take long to get stuck in your head, and I haven’t wanted it out of mine at all in the past week. There’s not much more to ask for in a song these days than it sounding great. There’s meaningful lyrics, pulsing guitars, righteous drum fills and killer cool keyboards. Oh, and the girl in the band is hot. Just sayin’.