The Rural Alberta Advantage is a Canadian indie rock band that formed in 2005. Based in Toronto, Ontario, the band consists of Paul Banwatt, Amy Cole and Nils Edenloff.
Regarding how they met, the band has said in an interview: "We all hosted an open stage at The Winchester in Cabbagetown, and that led to us forming The RAA. Nobody ever came to our night, and now that place is a Tim Hortons. I'm not saying it was our fault. I'm just saying it's a pretty big coincidence. I mean, the place was around for 120 years, but less than one year with us.... We have no regrets though. We'll close as many venues as it takes."
First formed in 2005, the band released a demo tape and an EP independently before completing their first full-length album, Hometowns, in early 2008. Hometowns was recorded and produced from April 2007 to March 2008 by Roger Leavens at BoomBox Sound in Toronto, Ontario. The band toured extensively across Canada, including shows at the Pop Montreal and Halifax Pop Explosion festivals, to support Hometowns.
The band was selected as eMusic's featured artist of the month for November 2008. The band subsequently signed to Saddle Creek Records in 2009, and Hometowns was re-released by the label in July. The band was also selected as the X3 Artist of the month by Aux.tv, CBC Radio 3 and Exclaim! Magazine for July 2009.