With his third album, the self-titled Alberta Cross, the band’s mastermind and sole official member, Petter Ericson Stakee, is asking us to slow down. He’s asking us to keep by his side, for the length of an album, to join him on the journey he’s made. We didn’t have to ask for these things just a few years ago, it was built into our nature. We listened to full albums. We had the time to stop and give music some of the attention it took to create it. Things have changed.
“There’s so much information everywhere all the time,” says Stakee. “A normal person ODs on information. If music is information, it feels like no one knows what’s good or bad anymore. Real music fans want to hear really good records and close themselves in for that journey of a full album. People need a journey sometimes.”
Alberta Cross is that journey. In just under an hour, it carries you far from its point of departure—the sparse, melodic minute-and-a-half opener “You’ll Be Fine”—through twists and turns, onward toward previously unknown territory, even to Stakee. The song comes and goes—a welcome hand reached out as a guide. On it, Stakee sings, “You don’t need any trouble/You just need to be found” as if he’s speaking directly to you, readying us all for what follows. Alberta Cross bleeds with every single piece of inspiration Stakee could fit inside of it. In fact, when speaking with Stakee, all variations of the word “inspire” surface during conversation. Everything for him is inspiration.