Change is constant. Certainly that’s always been the case with the Rural Alberta Advantage. Through three albums, Juno and Polaris nominations, the steady hum of critical praise and the relentless miles of constant touring, the trio of Nils Edenloff, Paul Banwatt and recent addition Robin Hatch have not just been confronted with change, they have been wailing, pounding and sighing their way through it. Change hung over them in the melancholy nostalgia of Hometowns, shook them during the finding-your-feet urgency of Departing and found its way through their cracks in the turmoil of Mended with Gold.
Though it’s always left a mark on the band, as they journey into The Wild, their fourth album, this perpetual change seemed to be casting a darker shadow. Maybe it’s the fact that singer and songwriter Edenloff almost watched his childhood home of Fort McMurray burn to the ground. Maybe it’s just, as Edenloff notes ruefully, that everyone in the band is getting older. Maybe it’s just that we’ve all had a rough year. But never before has the band felt quite so surrounded by the heaviness of being — nor quite so determined to pull through.