Breaking: Alberta Cross
Who: Alberta Cross, a quintet of stoner rock revivalists from Brooklyn-via-London-via-Sweden who became one of the summer’s must-see new bands thanks to appearances at Coachella and Bonnaroo.
Sounds Like: Nineties-style shoegaze guitar dissonance fused with the laid-back hippie folk rock of 1970’s Los Angeles. It’s all topped off with the high-lonesome vocals of lead singer Petter Ericson Stakee, a Swedish import whose voice recalls Neil Young and Jim James. Their full-length debut Broken Side of Time features wind tunnels of bent guitar riffs, distort power chords and the haunting melodies of rural American music.
• Before recording their new album, the five members of Alberta Cross holed up at Haunted Hollow studio owned by Dave Matthews — the band is signed to Matthews’ ATO label — outside Charlottesville, Virginia. “We were in the middle of the forest, just drinking wine and smoking weed and jamming for, like, 10 hours a day,” Ericson Stakee tells Rolling Stone. These jam sessions help craft the slow-burner “Rise from the Shadows” and the big-sky rocker “Taking Control.”
• Stakee wrote the acoustic number “Ghost of City Life” about the hipsters that walked around the band’s then-home base of Brooklyn, New York. “You know who I’m talking aboutâ€”the people you meet in the city, the scenesters and all,” Ericson Stakee said. “I was just sick of the city, tired of all the fake people.”
• After recording their album in Austin, Texas, with Spoon producer Mike McCarthy, the band fell in love with the Lone Star capital and are now contemplating a move there. “Everybody welcomed us with open arms: ‘Come on, let me buy you a drink, there’s a party later,’ ” says bassist Terry Wolfers, who formed the band with Ericson Stakee after the two met in an East London bar. Life in Austin does have its dangers, however: “I OD’d on Mexican food,” Ericson Stakee jokes.
Hear It Now: Broken Side of Time is due out September 22nd. Watch Alberta Cross perform “ATX” above.