Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Rural Alberta Advantage on Daytrotter w/ Some New Songs

I wrote a post last week about the Rural Alberta Advantage
, how they've got a great album under their collective belt, how they've had a great year, and how they've come a long way from playing in front of 5 people (including me and Liz) at the Alex P. Keaton in London (On). I also mused about where they go from here and how they'd follow up on their impressive, but possibly constricting debut, Hometowns. I say constricting (even though there's likely a better word, restricting?) because they've named their band and written a slew of songs about Alberta. On the front end, this has been great -- album number one has been a resounding success, and paints an incredibly vivid picture of the beauty and despair in/of Alberta.

Now, its not often that you'd say an excellent debut album would hurt a band, but their identity is so inextricably tied to Alberta I'd imagine its going to be hard for them to avoid it. Unless, of course, they just decide to ignore it. The king of geographically inspired music, Sufjan Stevens, did a bunch of weird shit, Michigan, Seven Swans, Illinois, the Christmas Music, and now his Brooklyn-Queens Expressway thing. So, its not unprecedented that an artist would flip back and forth, then again, Suf never tied himself to anyplace with his moniker. I guess the thing is, I think completely ignoring the great province (wince) of Alberta, or geographically inspired music, to become another band who writes songs about life/love/trouble/whatever would be a mistake, since it basically means that the Rural Alberta Advantage starts from scratch again (albeit with a bigger fan base and the support of a very solid label, Saddle Creek).

Obviously I'm slightly (though likely needlessly) concerned about the RAA's sophmore album, but I would probably be more concerned if the new songs weren't so good. The new tunes (from Daytrotter) "Two Lovers" and "Barnesyard", as well as stuff I've heard live, is every bit as good as the music on Hometowns and happier... so maybe its best that they're moving on from their Albertan past...

[mp3] Rural Alberta Advantage - Barnesyard
[mp3] Rural Alberta Advantage - Two Lovers

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