The Rural Alberta Advantage’s percussive folk songs about hometowns and heartbreak, and relentless tradition of touring have taken the trio from humble recognition amongst indie rock die-hards as “Canada’s best unsigned band” to sold-out tours and devoted fans around the world with featured coverage from Spin Magazine, Pitchfork, The New York Times and Rolling Stone all taking note.
Through three albums, Juno and Polaris nominations, the steady hum of critical praise and the relentless miles of constant touring, the trio and recent addition Robin Hatch have not just been confronted with change, they have been wailing, pounding and sighing their way through it. Change hung over them in the melancholy nostalgia of Hometowns, shook them during the finding-your-feet urgency of Departing and found its way through their cracks in the turmoil of Mended with Gold.
Though it’s always left a mark on the band, as they journey into The Wild, their fourth album, this perpetual change seemed to be casting a darker shadow. Duelling ideas of wonder and woe have always been essential to the RAA, but this dynamic might be at its most acute on The Wild, which even down to its title evokes ideas of huddling together while something lopes and lingers on the edge of our awareness. The band weathers the storm of ill tidings in the pounding ‘Bad Luck Again,’ searches for a fading connection over the dark distances of ‘Brother’ and finds thrilling abandon and a disconcerting recklessness in ‘Wild Grin’.
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