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Alberta Cross, led by lead singer and guitarist Petter Ericson Stakee, recently released their critically acclaimed new album Alberta Cross, their third LP release and label debut for Dine Alone Records.
Co-produced by Stakee and Claudius Mittendorfer (Johnny Marr, Kaiser Chiefs, Temples), the LP showcases new musical territories, with vibrant horn sections weaved throughout the 12-track collection, while in addition Stakee re-explored the band’s roots. Speaking about the record, his first without co-founder Terry Wolfers, Stakee says; “This is the first time I’ve done everything myself,” Stakee says. “It [the album] kind of brought it back to where I’d started. I wrote all the songs. It’s a fresh start for me. That’s why it’s self-titled.”
After some months of wrangling out of old record contracts, and putting all the distracting machinery of whatever is left of the record industry behind him, Stakee took his assortment of songs and ideas to Upstate New York, near Woodstock, to a place called Dreamland. “It’s this beautiful old church that they’d turned into a studio,” says Stakee. “I’ve always wanted to record in a church.”
It was at Dreamland with friends and fellow musicians Peter Remm and Fredrik Aspelin, Stakee bottled his inspiration, which stemmed from secret late-night jams he was a part of earlier this year in New York City’s East Village. Some sessions went on ‘til three in the morning with many musicians, including friend Kraig [Jarret Johnson] of Golden Smog. As you travel deeper into the self-titled LP, songs begin to morph like those early morning jams. The album’s depth, its sturdiness, start to standout with tracks like – “Beneath My Love” and “Get Up High”—that arrive in the second half of this blissful, complex, yet beautiful hour of sounds Stakee has built. Full of horns, strings and choruses designed to pull the listener inside, Stakee’s feeling of renewal is armed with the best songs he’s ever written.
“On this record, we have all these new colors,” Stakee continues. “It felt pretty amazing. I wanted those late night jams to inspire the record. It was very loose, not a lot of structure. I wanted to keep that vibe—the looseness and the soul. Mandolin, violin, French horn, flugelhorn, trumpet—we put those on a lot of tracks. That was a new thing for me and very inspiring. This record seems so… pure to me.”
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