Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Alberta Cross

I found Alberta Cross through Stereogum's "Bands to Watch" archives from April 23, 2007. Since getting their EP The Thief & The Heartbreaker I've been wanting more and more. AllMusic describes them as "a blues and country-influenced roots rock act drawing its sound from the foundation built by the Band and Neil Young. The London group's main members and songwriters are bassist Terry Wolfers and vocalist/guitarist Peter Ericson Stakee, who as a child traveled with his singer/songwriter father." Their MySpace page says pretty much the same thing with more verbiage. Plus, you currently get to sample four songs from their EP, which is quite nice.

The best way I could think to describe the sound of Alberta Cross is a mix between My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses. Two bands that employ similar sounds that are equal parts spacious, thoughtful, and bluesy. As Stereogum describes, they've got "
the dusty, gospel-tinged Americana rock thing down, pushed by Petter's star sailing vocals and loose, rootsy arrangements." Songs range from plaintive ("Devil's All You Ever Had"), to blues-rock ("The Thief & The Heartbreaker"), to Shins-like blues-pop ("Lucy Rider").

While this album is only an EP it's 7 songs deliver front to back, over and over. They aren't breaking new ground, but rather it's great to hear musical territory rediscovered and reinterpreted while incorporating more modern influences. Through and through a great listening experience. I can only imagine that their live shows are filled with enthusiasm and improvisation. Their songs have a built in aspect that -- I imagine -- would allow them to expand certain sections or even change/add lyrics with ease. There are no scheduled tour dates for this side of the pond, but hopefully it's only a matter of time before they're opening for a bigger name indie-rock act stateside.

Check out this video from their presumed single "Lucy Rider"
Alberta Cross - 'Lucy Rider'

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