In 2006 singer-songwriter Nils Edenloff, percussionist Paul Banwatt, and multi-instrumentalist Amy Cole came together to release their debut self-titled EP as The Rural Alberta Advantage. The ensuing years have brought two full-length albums (2008’s Hometowns and 2011’s Departing), widespread critical praise (SPIN, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NPR, among others), two Juno Award Nominations (Best New Group, Video of the Year), a Long List Nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, and a hard-earned reputation as one of the most impressive live bands you’ll ever see. It was through all of this that The RAA’s latest album, Mended With Gold, took shape.
The twelve songs found on the album have been filtered through these experiences and achievements, pushing them to heights previously unreached by the band. While maintaining the heartfelt lyrics, fetching melodies, and explosive percussion that won the band a loyal following worldwide, Mended With Gold makes it clear that The RAA have reached the next level. From the first moments of album opener “Our Love” it becomes unmistakable that these collective experiences has helped the band compose the most fully-real- ized work of their career.
While the sonics have now evolved, the plaintive lyrics and creative arrangements that helped define the band have remained. Standout tracks “Terrified", "On The Rocks", "Runners in the Night", and "Vulcan, AB" confront ideas of love, loss, and heartbreak through the pain of going through such experiences and the person that comes out on the other side of it.
The ideas and moods created in these songs tie back to the album title Mended With Gold, embracing the idea that the breakage and repair of an object becomes part of its unique history and ultimately makes it more valuable instead of a blemish to disguise. The Rural Alberta Advantage have taken all of their successes, losses, adventures, and heartbreaks over the past few years, and forged them together into an unforgettably powerful work of beauty.