May 29th – ALBERTA CROSS
Songs of Patience
(The New Album, Ark Recordings; September 3rd, 2012)
"...spine-tingling songs evoke the widescreen paranoia of Verve's A Northern Soul [or] channeling the Appalachian blues of Mercury Rev. Outsider music to lift both the hearth and the roof" - Q
..the seismic guitars and high vocals look to My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon and Crazy Horse..but Alberta Cross sets aside those American bands' redemptive undercurrents of blues and gospel; instead it plunges into the very English despair of bands like Pink Floyd." – The New York Times
"[Alberta Cross combines] wind tunnels of bent guitar riffs and distorted power chords with the haunting melodies of rural American music. It's all topped by Ericson Stakee's sweet, high-lonesome voice, which recalls both Jim James and Neil Young." – Rolling Stone
Alberta Cross will release their exceptional second album, Songs of Patience, on Ark Recordings on September 3rd, 2012. The album's anthemic opening track, Magnolia, previews the album as a single release on 7"/download on July 30th.
Alberta Cross are Petter Ericson Stakee (vocals/guitar) and Terry Wolfers (bass), a Swede and a Londoner with Brooklyn as their home. Having met in an East End pub seven years ago, when Wolfers saved a young and let's say "over-confident" Ericson Stakee from some angered locals, they have since embarked on what Ericson Stakee calls "a long and wild road". The success of their acclaimed 2009 debut, Broken Side Of Time, saw the band tour the world, criss-crossing America more times than they'd care to count, playing headline shows and festivals like Sasquatch and Bonnaroo, and earning the patronage of bands like Them Crooked Vultures, Oasis and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, with whom they toured.
The title of Songs of Patience is, though, in many ways, literal. Once touring for their debut was done, the band had headed to an old, abandoned house in the middle of nowhere near Woodstock, NY. There, they braved the freezing winter and embraced a sense of the building's haunted past to start working on ideas for a new record. But this record was to take a much longer, more winding road, as Petter Ericson Stakee explains:
"In the three years since the last album we relocated to Los Angeles, moved back to New York, returned to being a band with just two permanent members and have had at least five producers' hands on the album. I loved LA, but the combination of relocating and hitting the studio straight away made me spiral out of control. I reached a very dark place. I partied too hard, blew my newly-earned money and went home to Sweden. Once I hit rock bottom and plummeted back to the planet, I knew what I had to do. I moved back to Brooklyn and reformed my home there. And that's what Alberta Cross is, me and Terry, my cockney brother."
Now pared down to its original incarnation as a two-piece, Alberta Cross were able to look at what they'd created so far, open up their creativity, pen additional tracks and re-mix/re-track a few songs from the L.A. sessions in New York. They laid down new songs, rounding out the original songs to be an expansive, thoughtful portrait of their experiences. The result is one of the finest, most visceral rock albums of 2012.
Ultimately, Songs of Patience is both a throwback to Alberta Cross' roots and a progression forward. It's a record that is as soulful as it is driven, each song more visceral than the next. The album veers from the melodic sprawl of "Magnolia" to the pensive provocation of "Lay Down," a song bolstered by crashing guitars and one of the record's most thrilling choruses. "Wasteland" is a hook-laden, no-holds-barred rocker showcasing Ericson Stakee's voice at its finest, while "Crate of Gold" explores the motivations of the Occupy movement in all of its fuzzed-out, bass-driven glory. Indeed, Songs of Patience is the sum of three years' worth of parts – a struggle that concluded in one hell of an album, and a brilliant new chapter in the musical journey of Alberta Cross.
Songs of Patience track listing:
2. Create Of Gold
3. Lay Down
4. Come on Maker
5. Ophelia On My Mind
7. I Believe In Everything
8. Life Without Warning
9. Money For The Weekend
UK Tour dates: