More than clever verses and catchy choruses, truly timeless albums offer listeners the keys to another world; they catapult you into another frame of mind and jostle your soul along the way. The members of Alberta Cross, as evidenced by their debut Broken Side of Time and their soon-to-be-released second album, are masters of capturing this transformative sound.
A cathartic, kaleidoscope of influences from Depeche Mode to The Band, Alberta Cross is also the sound of it’s two principals: frontman/guitarist/vocalist Petter Ericson Stakee and bassist Terry Wolfers. Born in Sweden, Stakee spent his childhood on tour and in studios with his musician father before moving to London in his late teens. He and Wolfers, a Brit charmed by everyone from Prince and My Bloody Valentine to Metallica and Ride, met over five years ago while playing in a guitar-rock band in London’s East End.
The duo moved to New York, where they immediately created a buzz, playing spellbinding acoustic shows, en route to capturing a new deal with ATO Records. Seeking to create more of a band vibe—“and we wanted it to be a family,” says Wolfers—they added drummer Austin Beede, keyboardist Alec Higgins and guitarist Sam Kearney, creating a louder, grittier sound.
Broken Side of Time took root in April 2008 and was truly a giant stride ahead for the band—one that marked their official introduction to America. Grand in volume and vast in vision, it’s an inspired set of electric songs that finds an intersection of The Verve, My Morning Jacket and Neil Young (with or without Crazy Horse). Recorded in Austin, produced by the band with Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Dead Confederate, Heartless Bastards) and mixed by John O’Mahony (Depeche Mode, Coldplay, Kasabian) at Electric Lady Studios, the album melds propulsive, throbbing bass lines and crashing waves of guitar to a haunting, impassioned voice that sounds ancient and Appalachian.
Though the band had only recorded demo tracks for their second album at the time, the rough cuts were enough to mesmerize the advertising team at Ketel One Vodka’s. Searching for an act to partner with for a new television campaign, the brand found the unprocessed sound and haunting riff of “Money for the Weekend (Pocket Full of Shame)”, to be the perfect fit for the ad’s underground appeal. The new television spots, featuring an instrumental track and the band members themselves, began rotation on May 16, 2011 and will run throughout 2011 and into 2012.
This fall, Alberta Cross released The Rolling Thunder EP, garnering approval from critics and fans alike. The limited edition EP, of which only 2000 copies were printed, was made available exclusively at the band’s concerts and indie retail stores, satiating listeners until the release of an entirely new full-length album scheduled for release early 2012. The EP was recorded at Electric Lady in New York City and Sunset Sound in Los Angeles. Inspired by time spent across the globe - from a cottage in Wales to the haunting seclusion of the North Carolina woods – the EP ranges from the deep, rich synth tones found on “Wait” to the quiet intensity of “Rolling Thunder”. Alberta Cross supported their new EP this fall on an extensive national tour with psych-folk buzz act Portugal. The Man.
Alberta Cross has also toured extensively through the United Stages and the U.K. with bands such as Oasis, Dave Matthews Band, The Shins, Bat for Lashes and Simian Mobile Disco, among others. “If we weren’t playing for people every night, we would be going mad.” Stakee says.