The Rural Alberta Advantage write songs about relationships. “Stamp,” the first single from The RAA’s forthcoming album, continues that theme. The album, titled Departing, is due on March 1st. It is the band’s second release, following the 2008 debut, Hometowns, that was re-released the following year on Connor Oberst’s Saddle Creek label. The Toronto trio’s sound fits in well with the Oberst aesthetic. The RAA specializes in folk-tinged music, but it can often feature the driving aggression and propulsive drumming of Paul Banwatt. Banwatt, for my money, is one of the strongest drummers in the indie world today. Some of his finest, most interesting work is featured on “Stamp.”
Nils Edenloff, the band’s lead singer, sings in an almost grating, nasally tone that serves as a stark contrast to the aggressive manner in which he strums his acoustic guitar. The sounds complement each other perfectly. He attacks his acoustic guitar in an electric fashion. The song begins with this and then the driving drumming of Banwatt kicks in. “The hardest thing about this love is that you’re never coming back,” Edenloff sings in the chorus of the song. Edenloff’s nasally falsetto is complimented by Amy Cole’s strong supporting vocals.
This song is a great representative of The RAA sound. It is very much in the vein of earlier work like “Drain the Blood.” I caught these guys when they played last year in Cleveland and they were phenomenal. I was lucky enough to meet the band after the show and they were extremely warm. It is easy to root for good people. And when the music is this strong, you can’t help but be excited. At the beginning of 2011, this is easily one of the releases that I am most excited for.
The Rural Alberta Advantage // Stamp [mp3] from the forthcoming Departing