The Rural Alberta Advantage

Departing

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AllMusic Review by

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.

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