[Cover photo credit to Matt Barnes]
The Rural Alberta Advantage has announced their fifth full-length album, The Rise & The Fall, for an October 6, 2023 release via Saddle Creek, with the single “Conductors” out now. The “pick me up track” explores “the universal question of why we run from the things we love.”
As the new album name implies, the 13-song collection incorporates their 2022 EP, The Rise, which saw the return of founding member, keyboardist Amy Cole, who left the band after 2014’s Mended With Gold.
The video for “Conductors” was inspired by the work of director Adam Curtis.
Nils Edenloff explains:
“I’ve been a fan of Adam Curtis’ documentaries for a while. I’m not sure if it’s the message, the archival footage or the soundtrack, or maybe it is a combination of the three, but there is something hypnotic and completely engrossing in his work that I love, and for me, it’s perfect to watch while on tour. Late last year when the world was getting swept up by ChatGPT and we were still spending a lot of time in the songwriting process, Paul took no lack of joy in needling me, constantly prompting it to create lyrics in the style of ‘The Rural Alberta Advantage’.
I guess being perpetually reminded that you could be easily replaceable, and that your job could eventually be farmed out artificially brought to mind a lot of the themes in Curtis’ documentaries and ‘HyperNormalisation’ especially.
I can say with total honesty that none of the lyrics that Paul coaxed from the AI made it onto the record, nor did any of the lines particularly move me. So I guess for now, good old fashioned sweat, pen to paper inspiration still won the day for us.”
The Rise & The Fall took shape via songwriting through Zoom meetings, trading files of song ideas over email, managing rehearsals in borrowed warehouses that allowed for more personal space, and taking time together in one room and on stage.
Getting back to live performances across North America via short touring legs in 2022 gave The RAA the chance to “rework, cancel and perfect” these new songs, then bring them back home into studios around Toronto for recording with Gavin Gardiner (Born Ruffians, The Wooden Sky, Evening Hymns).
Moreover, for the first time, the band focused on writing and recording a few songs at a time, taking their tradition of trying out new music live to “a whole new level of real-time collaboration with their fans.”