Song Premiere: The Rural Alberta Advantage - On the Rocks

KEXP Premiere
Photo by Vanessa Heins

Toronto-based trio The Rural Alberta Advantage burst onto the scene back in 2006, racking up countless awards and accolades with each release: two Juno Award Nominations (Best New Group, Video of the Year), a long list nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, and rave reviews across the board. KEXP is excited to debut a track from their long-awaited third album, Mended with Gold, and from the sound of today's exclusive KEXP premiere, "On the Rocks," the band can expect more praise to come.

Recorded at Toronto's Candle Recording with long-time engineer Matt Lederman (Hayden, !!!, Besnard Lakes) and co-producer Leon Taheny (Owen Pallett, Austra, Fucked Up), the band continue to create powerful folk-pop songs with deep emotional resonance. Frontman Nils Edenloff explains the story behind today's premiere:

  • Like a lot of our songs, "On the Rocks" had a lengthy gestational period. The core elements of the song have been around for a while now, but it wasn't until we sat down to start working on Mended with Gold that I feel the three of us were really on the same page with it.
  • When I initially wrote "On the Rocks", it was more of a delicate finger picked song. However, after we wrapped recording of Departing I started playing around with it as a keyboard version and I really wanted to take it more in the vein of Casiotone For The Painfully Alone. While still touring the last record in late 2012, we still tried it as a guitar song but it just didn't seem to click the same way as it did the first time we started performing it and as it appears on the album now.
  • The song itself is an amalgamation of a lot of different memories and emotions, but the heart of it centers around the acceptance of an ending relationship. I'm personally really happy with the chorus of the song:
  • Our Hearts they were strong / Never made a sound
  • Our love was on the rocks / The day we let it out
  • Nothing going wrong / Nothing going down
  • There is a resignation to the chorus, but not in a hurtful way; it's more an honest acceptance.
  • As an additional note, one of the events which inspired "On the Rocks" is related to my first trip out to Newfoundland well over a decade ago. So I'm also pretty happy with the double entendre as it relates to the song. We may be The Rural Alberta Advantage, but anyone from who was knows Northen Alberta (ie. Fort McMurray) will understand that Newfoundland isn't too far out of my wheelhouse.

The Rural Alberta Advantage will stop in Seattle on Friday, October 24th, for an all ages show at The Crocodile. Mended with Gold hits stores on September 30th via Saddle Creek / Paper Bag Records.

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