By default, London isn’t the first place you’d imagine birthing an Americana band. Even so, Alberta Cross was drawn to the sounds of US folk from all the way across the pond, eventually answering the call and moving stateside. Now the solo project of Petter Ericson Stakee, following the departure of co-founder Terry Wolfers, the band is more inspired than ever by its adopted home. In fact, New York had a direct impact on the direction of Alberta Cross’ new self-titled LP.
“New York City is a very inspiring place,” Stakee says in a press release. “Before recording this album, I had all these secret late-night jams in the East Village at my friend’s bar with all sorts of musicians. We would start from anywhere between 9 and 10pm and just go on for hours. Over in the West Village, with my friend Kraig [Jarret Johnson] of Golden Smog — those were super late night. Those nights really inspired this record.”
As a result of those late night jams, Stakee decided to flesh out Alberta Cross’ sound with mandolin, violin, French horn, flugelhorn, trumpets, and other instruments not typically heard on previous records. Though opener “You’ll Be Fine” is a sparse, pretty acoustic number, “Ghost of Santa Fe” enters with beckoning horns, cresting like a sunrise. The new instrumentation only serves to enlighten the band’s connection to Americana sounds, as “Western State” rolls down desert highways and “Heavy Words” reverberates out of a Nashville bar. Stakee may be alone this time out, but he’s thriving in taking control of Alberta Cross." -Consequence Of Sound