The Albertans
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The Albertans

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This Brooklyn/Vancouver-based quintet was founded by singer-guitarist Joel Bravo and bassist Ian Everall, both formerly of Bravo Silva, who signed to the Ernest Jenning label with a vague idea for a new band. In Vancouver, they found drummer Curtis Mclean and vocalists Krystin Monaghan and Alison Yip. The five spent 2009 and 2010 touring in a short bus converted to run on propane, and recorded two albums: 2009's "Legends of Sam Marco" and this year's "New Age." While their music will appeal to fans of bands like the Arcade Fire, they've got a rhythmic power and general rockingness their indie peers often lack. Bravo says their uptempo style developed "because everybody comes from such a different background. Our drummer was a grindcore drummer in Saskatoon. The bass player is a jazz player, and the two girls who sing had never been in a band before  they're art kids." - MSN Entertainment


This Brooklyn/Vancouver-based quintet was founded by singer-guitarist Joel Bravo and bassist Ian Everall, both formerly of Bravo Silva, who signed to the Ernest Jenning label with a vague idea for a new band. In Vancouver, they found drummer Curtis Mclean and vocalists Krystin Monaghan and Alison Yip. The five spent 2009 and 2010 touring in a short bus converted to run on propane, and recorded two albums: 2009's "Legends of Sam Marco" and this year's "New Age." While their music will appeal to fans of bands like the Arcade Fire, they've got a rhythmic power and general rockingness their indie peers often lack. Bravo says their uptempo style developed "because everybody comes from such a different background. Our drummer was a grindcore drummer in Saskatoon. The bass player is a jazz player, and the two girls who sing had never been in a band before  they're art kids." - MSN Entertainment


The Albertans are a project pooling the collective and creative consciousness of five talented musicians who actually live outside the majestic province of Alberta. The band formed in Vancouver just over three years ago from the ashes of vocalist/guitarist Joel Bravo and bassist Ian Everall’s former band, Sex with an Angel, a New York based collective whose material was eventually released as the Albertans’ first EP, also called Sex with an Angel. They’ve since solidified their lineup to include drummer Curtis Mclean and keyboardists Alison Yip and Krystin Monaghan. The group cut their teeth by touring extensively stateside, which might help explain how they’ve managed to fly under the local radar before the recent release of their second full-length album, New Age.
The especially enigmatic and egoless Joel Bravo recently spoke with Discorder on a weekend visit to Vancouver from his home-away-from-home of Bowen Island, and answered some questions about the band and their new album.

Early into the conversation, the singer/guitarist confirmed suspicions that naming the group after the country-loving province of Alberta might cause some misguided listening expectations. The Albertans play a particularly sweet brand of indie rock that doesn’t rely as heavily on distortion as it does on simple and clean guitar parts, punchy bass lines and well timed keyboard flourishes. New Age’s title track features a group chorus which brings Arcade Fire and Akron/Family to mind. Despite this, their first tour was booked by their agent with an alt-country band that they should not have been sharing the stage with. “People just didn’t know what to do with us,” Bravo said.

The musician also explained that there is more than meets the ear at first listen to the new album. The album’s lyrics contain the obvious references to New Age spirituality, but really, the majority of the tracks were written from the perspective of a 14-year-old, juxtaposing New Age with coming-of-age.

“New Age refers mainly to that weird time at the very beginning of adolescence when everything is changing and you have this raw emotional intensity that’s kind of unparalleled. You could fall in love like you never could before… paralleling that with New Age religions and thinking about how the two play off each other,” Bravo explains. He notes, however, that he doesn’t necessarily share the feelings of the fictional characters he writes about.

A top priority of Bravo’s is making sure the Albertans’ records are on par with their live show, which is no easy task given their dynamic range and stage presence. Most of their tracks are danceable and keep you on your toes. They’ve got their set-list on speed dial, progressively working the crowd up as the night goes on. It’s also pretty obvious that they’re genuinely happy to be there, which makes watching them all the more enjoyable.

Bravo suggested that for the next album, more time in the recording studio and dedicated songwriting will even out some of the swings that work well on stage, but might not translate on record. He also made it clear that the collaborative spirit of the Albertans is something that will remain very important to future efforts, pointing out that the first single from New Age, “The Wake,” was written from scratch as a group effort. It also features a video made by the band using vintage film footage that is an uncanny fit for the track.

Despite having just released a new album, the Albertans are currently on a short hiatus while Yip, an accomplished painter, attends a residency in Germany and Everall records with a side-project called Deadbeat Darling in England. Geographical constraints don’t worry Bravo, though. He likened his commitment to the band to a long-term relationship. “It’s like being in love with someone,” he explains, and right now the relationship feels very enriching and stable. Having found bandmates that share his sentiments has allowed Bravo to relax and focus on other things, like The Secret of Sugarloaf, a musical he’s directing that was created by the middle school kids at Island Pacific School on Bowen Island. Aside from that, Bravo and the other Albertans are eagerly awaiting Yip and Everall’s return to Canada this summer so they can hit the road once again. - Discorder


The Albertans are a project pooling the collective and creative consciousness of five talented musicians who actually live outside the majestic province of Alberta. The band formed in Vancouver just over three years ago from the ashes of vocalist/guitarist Joel Bravo and bassist Ian Everall’s former band, Sex with an Angel, a New York based collective whose material was eventually released as the Albertans’ first EP, also called Sex with an Angel. They’ve since solidified their lineup to include drummer Curtis Mclean and keyboardists Alison Yip and Krystin Monaghan. The group cut their teeth by touring extensively stateside, which might help explain how they’ve managed to fly under the local radar before the recent release of their second full-length album, New Age.
The especially enigmatic and egoless Joel Bravo recently spoke with Discorder on a weekend visit to Vancouver from his home-away-from-home of Bowen Island, and answered some questions about the band and their new album.

Early into the conversation, the singer/guitarist confirmed suspicions that naming the group after the country-loving province of Alberta might cause some misguided listening expectations. The Albertans play a particularly sweet brand of indie rock that doesn’t rely as heavily on distortion as it does on simple and clean guitar parts, punchy bass lines and well timed keyboard flourishes. New Age’s title track features a group chorus which brings Arcade Fire and Akron/Family to mind. Despite this, their first tour was booked by their agent with an alt-country band that they should not have been sharing the stage with. “People just didn’t know what to do with us,” Bravo said.

The musician also explained that there is more than meets the ear at first listen to the new album. The album’s lyrics contain the obvious references to New Age spirituality, but really, the majority of the tracks were written from the perspective of a 14-year-old, juxtaposing New Age with coming-of-age.

“New Age refers mainly to that weird time at the very beginning of adolescence when everything is changing and you have this raw emotional intensity that’s kind of unparalleled. You could fall in love like you never could before… paralleling that with New Age religions and thinking about how the two play off each other,” Bravo explains. He notes, however, that he doesn’t necessarily share the feelings of the fictional characters he writes about.

A top priority of Bravo’s is making sure the Albertans’ records are on par with their live show, which is no easy task given their dynamic range and stage presence. Most of their tracks are danceable and keep you on your toes. They’ve got their set-list on speed dial, progressively working the crowd up as the night goes on. It’s also pretty obvious that they’re genuinely happy to be there, which makes watching them all the more enjoyable.

Bravo suggested that for the next album, more time in the recording studio and dedicated songwriting will even out some of the swings that work well on stage, but might not translate on record. He also made it clear that the collaborative spirit of the Albertans is something that will remain very important to future efforts, pointing out that the first single from New Age, “The Wake,” was written from scratch as a group effort. It also features a video made by the band using vintage film footage that is an uncanny fit for the track.

Despite having just released a new album, the Albertans are currently on a short hiatus while Yip, an accomplished painter, attends a residency in Germany and Everall records with a side-project called Deadbeat Darling in England. Geographical constraints don’t worry Bravo, though. He likened his commitment to the band to a long-term relationship. “It’s like being in love with someone,” he explains, and right now the relationship feels very enriching and stable. Having found bandmates that share his sentiments has allowed Bravo to relax and focus on other things, like The Secret of Sugarloaf, a musical he’s directing that was created by the middle school kids at Island Pacific School on Bowen Island. Aside from that, Bravo and the other Albertans are eagerly awaiting Yip and Everall’s return to Canada this summer so they can hit the road once again. - Discorder


The Albertans began as a seven-piece, though they now function as a quartet. This spring they will be releasing The Hunter EP, a 7-inch vinyl of three songs written in the retreats of Vancouver's Bowen Island.

Today, Spinner is premiering the title track, a six-minute exercise centered around a keyboard pulse, thinly whispered vocals and a kick-drum heartbeat.

Ernest Jenning Record Co
Listen to the Albertans' "The Hunter"


"The title track is an epic journey that leads you into a sinister foray of organ sounds and frenzied guitar," guitarist and vocalist Joel Bravo tells Spinner. "'The Hunter' was formed in the damp coves of Bowen Island (BC) and offers a glimpse into things and sounds to come. It's taken four years for us to form this band. That's a long time.

"But we have a nice thing going now, and we love each other, and i hope we'll keep playing together for as long as we're breathing," he continues. "This EP, and our upcoming full-length, have songs of all kinds, but four distinct personalities, heard as four distinct sounds. The sounds, from guitar, bass, keyboard and drums are the four components of our band." - Spinner


The Albertans began as a seven-piece, though they now function as a quartet. This spring they will be releasing The Hunter EP, a 7-inch vinyl of three songs written in the retreats of Vancouver's Bowen Island.

Today, Spinner is premiering the title track, a six-minute exercise centered around a keyboard pulse, thinly whispered vocals and a kick-drum heartbeat.

Ernest Jenning Record Co
Listen to the Albertans' "The Hunter"


"The title track is an epic journey that leads you into a sinister foray of organ sounds and frenzied guitar," guitarist and vocalist Joel Bravo tells Spinner. "'The Hunter' was formed in the damp coves of Bowen Island (BC) and offers a glimpse into things and sounds to come. It's taken four years for us to form this band. That's a long time.

"But we have a nice thing going now, and we love each other, and i hope we'll keep playing together for as long as we're breathing," he continues. "This EP, and our upcoming full-length, have songs of all kinds, but four distinct personalities, heard as four distinct sounds. The sounds, from guitar, bass, keyboard and drums are the four components of our band." - Spinner


Discography

"Dangerous Anything" Full-Length
WILL BE RELEASED SEPTEMBER 10, 2013
Songs on Album:
Casa Aqua----------------3:16
L-Friend-------------------4:07
Begin the Beguin--------4:38
Casual Encounters------3:37
Jason----------------------3:55
Invisible Fortress--------1:44
Waterbeds----------------6:14
The Late Late Show----3:35
Ohio Light and Fire-----2:41
Black Moon--------------7:55

"The Hunter" EP
Released: April 24, 2012
Songs on Album:
The Hunter---------------6:00
Ohio-----------------------2:29
Powers-------------------3:45

"New Age" Full-Length
Released: March 1, 2011
Songs on Album:
Jackpot------------3:38
The Wake--------3:20
Mila----------------3:18
May----------------2:50
Megan-------------3:52
Okay Now--------3:20
People Don't Go-----2:45
Furniture---------3:13
Mellow------------2:20
New Age---------2:35

"Legends of Sam Marco" Full-Length
Released: June 23, 2009
Songs on Album:
Marie--------------2:40
We're On Our Own----3:37
High Noon--------4:13
I Want You-------3:25
OK-----------------3:43
Crabs-------------1:09
Anna Rose-------3:28
Stop---------------2:19
Sam Marco------3:18
Warring Man----2:30
The Bright Side-------5:40

"Sex with an Angel" EP
Released: July 8, 2008
Songs on Album:
Furniture--------3:15
The Bird---------3:07
Canada----------2:17
Fun With Girls--2:34
Les Blues-------4:07

Photos

Bio

In 2008 the newly formed band The Albertans headed out on tour in a diesel-fueled short bus with a cat, some ponchos and a set of bocci balls. The tour took The Albertans from home base in Vancouver to San Diego and back. After proving the band road worthy, they hit the studio to record their debut full length 'Legends of Sam Marco' with producer Charles Burst (New Pornographers, The National, Ted Leo) in Brooklyn, NY. The record was released by Ernest Jenning Record Company, kicking off a relationship with the label that continues to this day, after 2 full-length albums and 2 EP releases.

Sticking around in NY after recording the first album, The Albertans participated in a one-month residency at Williamsburg's 'The Cameo', also playing numerous local shows and festivals in promotion of the album, gaining a devoted local following. They went on to play such festivals as SXSW in Austin and Sled Island in Calgary. The Albertans were named one of the top 10 indie acts of 2009 by Brooklyn’s ‘L-Magazine’.

In 2010, Vancouver-based Feldman and Associates took notice of The Albertans and organized a Canadian tour from BC to Ontario with Edmonton's 'The Wheat Pool'. The tour afforded The Albertans an early core following and expanded their influence across the country.

Over the last two years, The Albertans have focused on building working relationships in the industry and growing its west coast fan base. Through collaboration with individuals such as Glenn Alderson of BeateRoute Magazine and Sarena Strong of Lightorgan Records, the band has solidified their presence in the BC indie scene.
The Albertans recently performed a rooftop event for the OLIO Festival, attended by hundreds of fans, and supported by Bend Sinister and the Pack A.D. The online video channel Vizo streamed the show live, and featured The Albertans on their Youtube channel for one month following the show. The band’s most recent album “New Age” charted for several weeks in the top 20 indie and campus radio playlists.

The band’s sound has notably matured and deepened, each member with a specific voice. The Albertans are poised to take it up to the next level armed with industry
partners who can help make that happen.