Departing by Rural Alberta Advantage
First off, let me be the first to say that I really like this album art. Ok artwork aside, “Departing” is a really solid encapsulation of what Rural Alberta Advantage is all about, frenetic guitar, haunting back up vocals, lyrics about small town heartbreak, and most importantly, powerful drumming right at the forefront that at times borders on sounding chaotic. The record is obviously the cold weather counterpart to 2009’s “Hometowns”, with a more somber and less exuberant tone than the last album.
I hope your heart is good and strong if you find yourself in my arms.
“Two Lovers” is an exceptionally sincere sounding track that seems to be about a relationship broken up by distance. The song is little more than a loose guitar strum and a steady beat, but it really shows off front man Nils Edenloff’s ability to carry a song with emotion and lyricism.
“Tornado 87” is a literal account of the second deadliest tornado on record for Canada that hit Edmonton, Alberta, that drummer Paul Banwatt’s family lived through, “Oh I, and the villains I pull into the sky / And our heart’s shake in it / This summer night, oh I / Let’s lie down in the basement tonight“. As to be expected, the song is an aggressive one that progresses like a freight train careening out of control. Amy Cole’s windswept “oooh’s” and Paul’s wild stirring drumming, do a great job of evoking the feeling of a tornado without being cheesey.
There is really no shortage of dazzling folk rock tracks on “Departing”, whether it’s the fatalistic yet sweet “Under the Knife” or the youthful rebellion of “Barnes’ Yard”, this is a record that forces you to feel something, or get out of the way.
Departing: 4.5 out of 5