The Rural Alberta Advantage are a band I missed this year until quite recently, and without a doubt, if i'd listened through their album earlier than I did, it would have made an appearance on my albums of 2009 list. Hometowns was originally released independently by the band in early 2008 - but following an Emusic artist of the month feature in November 2008, The RAA signed onto Saddle Creek Records, and re-released Hometowns on July 7, 2009.
With all the lo-fi rock nostalgia of Jeff Magnum and Neutral Milk Hotel's On Avery Island, The Rural Alberta Advantage make hyperactive indie pop with wailing boy-girl harmonies, heartfelt acoustic interludes and coarse electric guitars. There's stomping percussion and checkered shirts galore - as well as horns and occasionally keys added into the mix. They are currently touring extensively across the USA, moving on to bigger and better things as their popularity grows. Based in Toronto, Ontario, having grown up in rural Alberta, the band describe themselves below..
"The Rural Alberta Advantage play indie-rock songs about hometowns and heartbreak, born out of images from growing up in Central and Northern Alberta. They sing about summers in the Rockies and winters on the farm, ice breakups in the spring time and the oil boom’s charm, the mine workers on compressed, the equally depressed, the city’s slow growth and the country’s wild rose, but mostly the songs just try to embrace the advantage of growing up in Alberta."
Four Night Rider, live from The Bell House 5/4/09, via wingedfeetxc on Youtube.
File Next To - Harlem Shakes, Neutral Milk Hotel, Japandroids
The Rural Alberta Advantage - Four Night Rider (MP3)
The Rural Alberta Advantage - Luciana (MP3)
Hometowns on Amazon