Blabber N Smoke
Veterans of the Canadian alt country scene courtesy of their joint membership in the band Nathan, husband and wife duo Devin and Keri Latimer have branched out to produce Lucky Stars, an album that covers the spectrum from breezy country influenced pop to dreamlike swoons. With Devin happy on bass to provide a solid rhythm section along with drummer Gary Craig, Keri’s gossamer voice and her occasional use of Theremin are the hooks here. She floats across the songs reminding one at times of Hope Sandoval although she’s perfectly capable of coming back to earth and sounding like a young Dolly Parton on the spritely Gravity And A Ladder Of Gold. The pair are perfectly served by their choice of producer, Steve Dawson, who has worked with Jim Byrnes, Kelly Joe Phelps, Old Man Luedecke, The Sojourners, and The Deep Dark Woods in addition to having a very healthy back catalogue of his own albums under his belt. Aside from his production duties Dawson plays all of the additional instrumentation here, acoustic and electric with some wicked guitar licks and sweet pedal steel throughout the album.
Of the 12 songs here there’s an eclectism apparent with some rootsy playing on the Dobro adorned April and the aforementioned Gravity And A Ladder Of Gold while Virtual Machine is more dreamlike, floating like a dream of flying and not dissimilar to Julee Cruise’s work for David Lynch. The twangful thrust of Agent Of The Night and the night creep of Healing Feeling point to another forebear, the much missed Detroit duo Blanche and there’s a doff of the cap the Handsome Family with a cover of Don’t Be Scared. To cap it all they close the album with a very fine cover of Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World with Keri’s Theremin adding the spookiness to Dawson’s spidery guitar. Very nice.