Reviews

Hometowns

Author: Kevin Coffey
07/09/2009 | Omaha World Herald | www.omaha.com | Live Show Preview
Add another group of Canucks to the roster.

The Rural Alberta Advantage is the latest addition to the list of bands on Saddle Creek Records. They join Canadian artists Tokyo Police Club, Sebastien Grainger and Land of Talk.

Nils Edenloff, Paul Banwatt and Amy Cole do percussion-heavy acoustic rock reminiscent of Neutral Milk Hotel, which Edenloff counts among his influences. But RAA's songs hit on topics that include their home country and growing up.

"We weren't sitting down saying, 'We gotta write Alberta songs. There's a niche market for that,'" Edenloff said, laughing. But when making the record, he "realized songs that I was writing were referencing memories and experiences that I had growing up in Alberta."

The band performs with fellow Saddle Creek roster rookies UUVVWWZ on Wednesday at Slowdown.

Getting signed to the local label wasn't a difficult process. A booking agent sent out copies of the group's album. Saddle Creek Records representatives expressed some interest and met up with the group at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, in March.

On Tuesday, Saddle Creek released the group's album, "Hometowns," which the group put out independently last year. Saddle Creek is doing a "straight-up re-release" of the album, but this time the album is getting proper treatment with promotion from Saddle Creek.

"We were really just burning CDs ourselves," Edenloff said. "We were mostly selling it at shows locally. Nothing major like what's in the works now."

While working on the album, Edenloff said sometimes a song simply comes together, but most of the time, the band works and works on a song to get it right. "Frank, AB" was one of the tunes that took some finessing, Edenloff said.

"We had it for a long time and it never really clicked, in a way. It kind of had a swing feel to it and we were like, 'This is dumb.' We had practice after practice trying to figure it out. Finally, Paul and I were practicing together and took it in a completely different direction," Edenloff said. "We had a lot of songs that we were really, really pumped about, and we're trying to make sure we get them right and we're happy with it."

Edenloff got involved with the others when he attended an open-mike night that Banwatt and Cole were hosting.

"No one would come to it. It was really depressing. They kind of got tired of doing it every week," Edenloff said.

Edenloff and Banwatt decided to play together to fill in on the open-mike nights, eventually adding Cole.

"That was sort of the sound we started developing there," Edenloff said. "They're acoustic-based songs, rocked up a bit, with a lot of percussion."

"We're excited to actually play at Saddle Creek," Edenloff said. "They're really, really great. Everyone we've met from Omaha is really down to earth."
Hometowns

Hometowns

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UUVVWWZ

UUVVWWZ

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