“One rainy day in July,” Keri Latimer sings sweetly about her great-grandmother, a soft-spoken lady originally from Japan. “I stabbed you in your lumberjack thigh.” Latimer didn't expect barbershop-shear-wielding violence when excavating her family's history. But families can be unexpectedly quirky like that—just like this folk duo, a husband-wife pair that were formerly in Nathan, the Juno-winning alt-country band. Upon a base of old-time guitar folk tinged with pedal-steel country, Leaf Rapids adds in brass, tinkly piano and—oh why not?—theremin throughout their sophomore release, Citizen Alien, about the pair's European and Japanese immigrant families, not space folk (though that theremin wouldn't be out of the ordinary on a vintage sci-fi movie soundtrack). It's those unexpected juxtapositions that make the music of Leaf Rapids such fun exploration: pleasant waltzes that speak of failures and scars, lullabies for vultures circling their prey. Latimer's voice can be as delicate as a daisy, but as twangily mischievous as a Dolly, and their songwriting is prone to zigzags and sharp curves. Like, barbershop-shears sharp.
Biography by Jason Markusoff