One obvious advantage of RAA singer, guitarist, and chief songwriter Nils Edenloff's upbringing in the sticks around Fort McMurray is that he learned to write striking, emotive songs about small town life and surviving fractured relationships. RRA's debut, Hometowns, was full of Edenloff's Alberta reflections after moving to Toronto. The trio's new Departing mines similar themes while further honing the compelling sound that has earned RRA a dedicated following: Edenloff's folkie musings furiously driven by Paul Banwatt's percussive fusillade while Amy Cole's piano adds melodic dimension and the voices of Edenloff and Cole flirt and parry with one another expectantly. There'll be two openers. With a naturally high voice verging on falsetto, Ireland's James Vincent McMorrow favors a folk-pop blend that ranges from wispy and slightly haunting to rollicking with epic ambitions. Chicagoan multi-instrumentalist Erik Hall's solo project In Tall Buildings veers towards experimental folk, Hall's inveterate tinkering yielding songs that ingratiate themselves with understated charm and occasionally suggest a Neil Young influence. 18+.
Fri., March 25, 8 p.m., 2011