The Provincial Archive Maybe We Could Be Holy

The Provincial Archive open their sophomore release with a shudder of synth-y rhythms that signals a leap forward in creativity for the Edmonton, AB-based band. Straddling the line between indie folk and chamber pop, the album's nicely textured arrangements, filled with banjo, mandolin, melodica, synthesizer and guitar, are perfectly suited to its gentle, upbeat melodies and nostalgia-tinged lyrics. Frequent references to inclement weather, ranging from cold and frosty to damp and stormy, give the album a melancholy tone, demonstrating distinct ambivalence towards the Northern landscape in which it was conceived. The Archive's folk leanings are most apparent on tracks like the banjo-heavy "Sparrow Trapped in a Chimney Stack" and the bluegrass-y "Guided by Sundogs." But complex, poppy rhythms, electronic touches and Craig Schram's taut vocals add an edge that gives the album a more urban flavour than last year's Nameless Places. (Bedrooms & Basements)