Published Apr 12, 2015Emerging from the accolades of the (still active) Winnipeg alt-country band Nathan comes Leaf Rapids. Composed of husband and wife duo Keri (who also has a solo album under her belt, 2012's Crowsfeet and Greyskull) and Devin Latimer, Leaf Rapids' debut weaves genres together seamlessly and bears the musical maturity of old pros while still maintaining a fresh-faced sound.
With heart-warming lyrics ("I comply with the virtual regime / Synchronized, sated and serene"), Keri pulls people into her fascination with the wide-open spaces of Winnipeg and the prairies. Lucky Stars kicks off with the hooky and ethereal "Virtual Machine," with tons of reverb and a sort of '60s surf-rock vibe, perfect for those upcoming beach days. From there, the duo drifts seamlessly into the more barn-raising, country-inspired "April," complete with fiddle, banjo and an appropriately placed twang on Latimer's vocal. Other standouts include "Healing Feeling," with its retro blues groove, and a theremin- and harmony-filled cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World."
What sets Lucky Stars apart, though, is Keri's voice, which ranges from the unique delicateness of Hannah Georgas ("Virtual Machine") to the twang of an early Dolly Parton ("Gravity and a Ladder of Gold"). Produced by Steve Dawson (Jim Byrnes, Old Man Luedecke), Lucky Stars definitely has some star power behind it but doesn't hang on the coattails of its predecessors; it stands on its own.
(Ed's note: An earlier version of this review contained incorrectly quoted lyrics. Exclaim! regrets the error.) (Black Hen Music)