The Rural Alberta Advantage,
The TVD First Date

“I’ll be honest, I feel I was little late to the game in terms of the resurgence of vinyl love over the last couple of years. My formative high school years we’re spent hunched over racks of used CDs, because that was the future right?”

“Now, some of my earliest memories involved digging through my Dad’s vinyl collection, Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot, and the like, however my high school years were in the golden age of the CD. Throughout university it actually was my younger brother who was amassing a fairly impressive vinyl collection while working at one of the best record stores in Edmonton, Blackbyrd Myoozik. Somehow he managed to work several nights a week, take advantage of a fairly impressive employee discount, and still ended up owing a sizable fortune to the owner when he eventually graduated.

But look at me now. I’m currently banging these words out on a keyboard while a big black, dusty IKEA shelf full of CDs that I haven’t touched in years is lording over me. The only reason I probably haven’t boxed them up by now is because I already have two equally embarrassing boxes of CDs squirreled away in a closet and I’d rather not even think about it.

At the end of the day, I think we know who is on the winning side of history here, right? So, what changed?

I think for me personally there were two key factors in my discovery and love of vinyl. First of all, the digitizing of my entire collection and having access to any number songs at any given instant didn’t help me listen to more music. In fact I ended up being more restless, devouring albums in a piecemeal fashion. Vinyl though, was different.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine gave me his extra turntable. Most weekends a couple of friends and I would go over to his place, have a couple of drinks, and dig through his collection. If we were lucky maybe we’d get through 6 or 7 in a night.

Listening to a full album became more of an event, there was a commitment to hearing out the full thing, and with it, getting a feel for the pacing of the record. After getting the turntable home, sourcing an amplifier and starting to build a collection, I felt I was listening to music like I was in high school again, giving up the need to skip from song to song, appreciating the album as a whole. At this point I’ve got about 150 LPs, and while it isn’t logical to say that I only listen to vinyl, I do prefer the act of putting a record on and listening to it as a whole.

The second factor has to do with how burning CDs in a way cheapened the product itself for me. We initially self released our first record Hometowns in 2008 before Saddle Creek re-released it in July of 2009. For that first year, anyone who purchased a physical copy of Hometowns has a CD that was personally hand stamped and burned on my own computer.

It was as bare bones a release as you could imagine, but after burning and hand stamping a 1,000+ CDs, the mystery of the medium looses a bit of its luster. It feels like its something that anyone in the world can do.

That being said, I still remember opening the first box of vinyl that we received from Saddle Creek. We were playing a show in Minneapolis at the 7th Street Entry. There was something about seeing Hometowns on vinyl for the first time, holding onto a tangible product that was in a way a summation of every show, practice, and recording session that we’d done up to that point that made you feel like you’d actually created something.

When you hold something like that for the very first time, you actually feel like you’ve maybe done something special.”
Nils Edenloff

The Rural Alberta Advantage’s brand new full length release, Mended With Gold arrives in stores September 30 via Saddle Creek. On vinyl.

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