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Alberta Cross

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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 a little bit along the way. Broken Side of Time, Alberta Cross’ ATO Records debut, is one of those albums.

A cathartic, kaleidoscope of influences, from Depeche Mode to The Band, it’s also the sound of Alberta Cross’ two principals—frontman/guitarist-vocalist Petter Ericson Stakee and bassist Terry Wolfers—going for broke and stumbling across the sound of their dreams in the process.

Broken Side of Time took root in an April 2008 jam session, Stakee and Wolfers’ first with three players they would quickly enlist—guitarist Sam Kearney, drummer Austin Beede and keyboardist Alec Higgins. With the aid of a little drink and a little smoke, the five jammed on a group of Stakee’s then-new songs, giving birth to Alberta Cross’ second incarnation almost immediately: “I remember thinking that night, ‘This is gonna be insane,’” remembers Stakee.

It was a time of upheaval for Stakee and Wolfers, ex-pat Brits living in Brooklyn. They had moved to a new, tough city, lost the major-label record deal they had moved there with, and were in the midst of reinventing both their band and their sound, while sleeping on friends’ couches. Their well-received debut EP, 2007’s The Thief & the Heartbreaker, was a modest, folk-minded, acoustic-based disc that garnered glowing reviews. But, for Stakee and Wolfers, it was a baby step.

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