One thing the folksy rock band Alberta Cross has never been guilty of: copping to the heavy grips of inertia. Ever since meeting at a London pub, founders Petter Ericson Stakee and Terry Wolfers have been on a perpetual road trip that has brought them to Sweden, LA, performances with greats like Bat for Lashes and Oasis, festivals like Bonaroo and Coachella, and finally, the little artist's haven called Brooklyn. That sense of restless energy bounces through their latest installment, which, though called Songs of Patience," is anything but placid.
The first song, "Magnolia," sets the tone for an album that is sunny and colorful without any airs of frivolity. Stakee's voice occupies acoustic space like few you hear -- his over enunciation of each word gives the music a fabulous, vibrating quality. He's been compared to Neil Young, but there's a youthfulness to his voice which promises much more to come. That echoing of his voice is only enhanced by the beautiful, modern take on gospel -- complete with a choir that sounds more love-child than church robes, and used to particularly marvelous effect in "Magnolia." The album doesn't completely maintain the momentum throughout, but sprinkles gems along the way, in tracks such as the "Wasteland."
Because the band somehow sounds familiar and radically different, they've drawn comparisons to everyone from Pink Floyd to Band of Horses. Maybe it's an inevitable result of their past few vagabond years, but Alberta Cross manages to evoke sounds of past without sounding remotely derivative.
Listen below to one of our favorite tracks, "Wasteland."