Rural Alberta Advantage: The benefits of traveling light

In the past 10 years, Canadian bands have occasionally been known for having more people onstage playing music than people in the audience listening. This is not to say they don’t draw crowds, but that they often have huge crowds onstage. This isn’t the case for the Rural Alberta Advantage.

In fact, the trio is even multitasking to create a sound like there are more players. Keyboardist Amy Cole recently bought a pedal bass to play with her feet to fill in the low end.

“It’s been a little weird coordinating that with other instruments,” says Cole. “We’ve been practicing it a lot actually, getting ready for tour.”

The Rural Alberta Advantage’s recently released second album, “Departing,” has been garnering favorable reviews for its heartfelt immediacy. There have also been a lot of comparisons to indie rock superheroes Neutral Milk Hotel, mostly due to singer Nils Edenloff.

“I think Nils’ vocal similarity cannot be denied,” says Cole. “Honestly, it’s flattering to be in the same sentence as a band like that. At the same time, I hope we have our own identity.”

The band does seem to have found themselves in “Departing,” delivering a more consistent sound than on their debut.

“I think because we were more confident in our sound,” says Cole, “we were kind of able to make these songs in more of a voice that is a unified voice.”

Follow Pat Healy on Twitter at @metrousmusic

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