very nice
best of the month and tied for best of the year
debut album for me
any band that has Arcade Fire as an influence is ok in my book
not saying you'll hear that here
maybe someday

Grade - 2.1

released Mar 1st, 2011

from the album - Two Lovers - 2.5

from all music


The Rural Alberta Advantage are an indie rock band from Toronto whose self-released debut album became an Internet sensation in 2008. Founded in 2005 in Toronto, Canada, the band is a trio comprised of Nils Edenloff, Amy Cole, and Paul Banwatt. Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, singer/guitarist Edenloff anchors the band. The Rural Alberta Advantage self-released a demo recording in 2005 and then self-released The Rural Alberta Advantage EP (2006). A couple years later the band self-released its full-length album debut, Hometowns (2008). While little known at the time of its release, Hometowns got a big boost when influential online music retailer eMusic championed the album, declaring it eMusic Select album of the month for November 2008. The band got another boost in March 2009 when it played a high-profile showcase at South by Southwest in Austin, TX, alongside one of the festival's most anticipated bands, Grizzly Bear. The buzz about the Rural Alberta Advantage reached the point where the Omaha-based indie label Saddle Creek Records picked up Hometowns for reissue in 2009. The group's much anticipated second studio album, Departing, arrived in March 2011.

Album Review

The snow squall cover art for Canadian indie rock trio the Rural Alberta Advantage's sophomore effort, while skillfully echoing the opening scene of Fargo, perfectly sums up the spirited, shiftless, and heartfelt ten tracks contained within. It’s like they took 2009’s Hometowns, stuffed it in a snow globe, and shook it mercilessly. More confident, explosive, and produced than their lovable but ultimately flat-sounding debut, the aptly named Departing finds the trio ditching the living room scene for the road, carving out a solid collection of fiery, understated, nostalgia-laced indie pop gems that fly by like mile-markers. Singer/guitarist Nils Edenloff's throaty, conversational vocals, laced with lyrics drenched in lovelorn, small-town sociology, bring to mind a less cosmopolitan Hold Steady, and the punchy, unfussy production gives standout cuts like “Under the Knife” and “Stamp” an earthy and visceral inclusiveness that’s often absent from the current glut of anthem-heavy, stadium-primed indie rockers.

Track Listing

1 Two Lovers 3:23
2 The Breakup 3:17
3 Under the Knife 3:35
4 Muscle Relaxants 2:55
5 North Star 3:06
6 Stamp 3:08
7 Tornado '87 3:48
8 Barnes' Yard 2:24
9 Coldest Days 3:08
10 Good Night 4:07