Rae Spoon & Rodney Decroo Trucker's Memorial

Two Vancouver musicians get together and work a little magic, proving that musical chemistry — like the romantic kind — is an unpredictable science. Although both Spoon and Decroo are country/roots artists, in many ways they’re a highly unlikely pairing. Decroo’s two solo albums, including this year’s live disc War Torn Man, are bitter to the core, mining a dark past and a darker present. Spoon’s own solo albums, on the other hand, have an overall sunnier tone despite the fact that, as a transgendered person, he’s doubtless got an angst-ridden history of his own to draw from artistically. But on Trucker’s Memorial Spoon’s pure, airy voice knocks the hard edges off of Decroo’s raspy snarl. And in recompense Decroo’s grimy country rock vibe gives Spoon’s twang a bit of a spicy kick. The interplay between the voices is engaging and the disc’s clean melodies and acoustic arrangements give both voices a chance to shine. The sweet and the sour complement each other here in unexpected and delicious ways. Good stuff all around. (Northern Electric)