Author: Marissa Moss
If Pavement discovered strings and the synth, so would be born The Rural Alberta Advantage, my favorite thing to come out of Canada since, well...since Arcade Fire. Canada actually gets a bad rap for only churning out the likes of screeching pop princesses like Avril Lavigne and swooning pop queens like Alanis Morissette -- Rural Alberta Advantage shows that there's um, an advantage of the cold North: which is taking a set of interesting influences (the aforementioned Pavement, a little church gospel, some Broken Social Scene, a bit of Billy Corgan drawl) and mixing them in a vacuum where the rules are few and the outcome more surprising. Songs like "Don't Haunt This Place" and "Sleep All Day" play with quick, flittering drumbeats, organs and dissonant talk-singing laced along lyrical stories of the band's hometown. Look for their album, called, natch, Hometown, re-released on Saddle Creek this summer.