Stepping out of the shadow of their former band, married duo Keri and Devin Latimer have put the award-winning Nathan to rest. Having garnered multiple Canadian folk music titles and a 2008 Juno award for the group’s last release, Key Principles, the Latimers have just released their debut album, Lucky Stars, as Leaf Rapids.
Recalling Australia’s once-reigning Americana couple, Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, Keri and Devin draw influence from the landscape of their native Manitoba grassland as evidenced on “Welcome Stranger.” Taking the lead for most of Lucky Stars, Keri drives the gossamer “Galaxy 500,” the macabre sprawl of “Vulture Lullaby” and pedal steel waltz of “Don’t Be Scared” before closing the borders on their homestead’s expanse with the title track duet. Transforming David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World” into a spaghetti western acid flashback, the high point of the album is the soulful standout, “Everything in Between,” a love song showcasing Keri’s earnest vocal drawl.
Firmly rooted yet not wholly contained to a specific genre, decade or geography, Lucky Stars is an inviting collection of songs that warms the heart and ears. Again and again.