10 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Musically and emotionally, Departing is a worthy companion to the Rural Alberta Advantage’s stellar 2008 debut, Hometowns. The songs still touch on the frustrations and desperation of small-town life, but this time things are more personal than general, the aches and angst pinpointed to specific relationships rather than to a place. As the title suggests, these are songs about leaving and the conflicting emotions that come with it. Escape isn’t all it’s cut out to be it seems. Once again, the arrangements are spare: up-tempo acoustic guitar strumming and earnest, heart-on-his-sleeve vocals by Nils Edenloff, inventive drumming by Paul Banwatt, and keyboards and winsome backing vocals by Amy Cole. Beginning with a pair of forlorn gems in “Two Lovers” and “The Breakup,” the album flows smoothly across its 10 taut tunes in just over 30 minutes. The pace picks up with the skittering rhythms of “Under the Knife” and “Muscle Relaxants,” then moves to the catharsis of the urgent and galloping “Stamp,” the soaring “Tornado ’87,” and the brief and punchy “Barnes’ Yard,” before ending with the heartbreakingly lovely and sparse “Good Night.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Musically and emotionally, Departing is a worthy companion to the Rural Alberta Advantage’s stellar 2008 debut, Hometowns. The songs still touch on the frustrations and desperation of small-town life, but this time things are more personal than general, the aches and angst pinpointed to specific relationships rather than to a place. As the title suggests, these are songs about leaving and the conflicting emotions that come with it. Escape isn’t all it’s cut out to be it seems. Once again, the arrangements are spare: up-tempo acoustic guitar strumming and earnest, heart-on-his-sleeve vocals by Nils Edenloff, inventive drumming by Paul Banwatt, and keyboards and winsome backing vocals by Amy Cole. Beginning with a pair of forlorn gems in “Two Lovers” and “The Breakup,” the album flows smoothly across its 10 taut tunes in just over 30 minutes. The pace picks up with the skittering rhythms of “Under the Knife” and “Muscle Relaxants,” then moves to the catharsis of the urgent and galloping “Stamp,” the soaring “Tornado ’87,” and the brief and punchy “Barnes’ Yard,” before ending with the heartbreakingly lovely and sparse “Good Night.”

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
66 Ratings
66 Ratings
Heather Kanatzar ,

Phenomenal music.

I've been anticipating this one for a while now and I am very pleased with it... topping Hometowns was impossible, this one feels more subtle... I know it's the kind of album that will blow you away after it is absorbed completely. It's not love at first sight, it's falling in love.

Another Chris ,

It makes me happy...

I love the album--the songwriting is heart on their sleeve/sincere, the drumming is FANTASTIC, the music is real and not the result of studio magic. It makes me happy to hear the songs because they love music and offer it to their audience as a gift.

MarilynnB ,

Two Lovers

I haven't listened to the entire album, but I will say that "Two Lovers" is one of the most boring songs I've ever heard. Ever.
CBC plays it, and I'd like their hosts to realize that just because a song is performed by a Canadian artist, does not mean it's worth of air play.

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