The Rural Alberta Advantage released a new single, “Terrified,” last week with welcome news of an upcoming album.
The “rural” notwithstanding, the intensity that crashes out of every RAA song has always resonated with my own campanilismo, my own passion for my hometown’s heartbeat. I love blasting “North Star” every time I see fog-wrapped hills in the distance; love beating the crap out of my steering wheel in time to “Don’t Haunt This Place”; and I love screaming along to “Two Lovers,” eyes shut tight, using The Force to steer my way to or from that tight embrace. They’re my favorite driving band.
They’re also an amazing live band. So: new single, new album, new tour? Far from central Canada, the midwest, and the wet Atlantic seaboard… the Bay Area gets it too. Come soon. Otherwise, I’ll be driving…
I almost made it through this post without mentioning it. I’m certainly over it. I can laugh about it now. And, with a new Idle Time for a new day, for The Turnaround, I can reflect upon how silly we had become in those halcyon days of campfire quorums and barroom shouting matches.
The Rural Alberta Advantage is the best band never to have made an Idle Time list.
In 2008, their debut, Hometowns, was released digitally. I loved it, and submitted it for ranking. I felt like the one chance it had to earn a slot rested with MI, who would appreciative the aggressive folk quality and pots-banging energy.
Not so. He torpedoed it, and the ’08 List was RAA-less.
A year later Hometowns was released by Saddle Creek, and it earned some buzz in the press. Come December, when it was time to submit our nominees, Hometowns got tossed back in the mix…
He never listened to the record in 2008, and I was a bitter crybaby who refused to admit it for consideration a year later. “On principle.” Departing, released in 2011, didn’t stand a chance. It defined our distrust and pettiness.
As symbolism goes, when and if we get our shit together, I can’t think of a better album title than this new RAA joint to reunite our Idle Time family. I have half a mind to nominate Mended With Gold after hearing just the one song…