Many bands have members who collaborate as musical partners, but the members of Leaf Rapids are also life partners with children.
Keri and Devin Latimer celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on April 16, have been together for 19 years, and have been playing music for 18 of those years.
The duo is currently on a road trip, not specifically in celebration of their anniversary, but for the release of their latest album Lucky Stars.
“We’ve been travelling with our two kids on the road with us, and we’re going to Vancouver and back to Winnipeg, and then we go to the U.K for five weeks right after that,” said Keri Latimer. “It’s a big adventure for us.”
Latimer says some people have described their music as haunting Americana because the song writing is somewhat mysterious. Adding to the mystery vibe is Latimer’s playing of the theremin, an electronic instrument used in many science-fiction films from the 1950s.
For their album Lucky Stars, released on April 14, the duo reached out to Canadian roots musician and producer Steve Dawson who recently relocated to Nashville. Dawson flew them to Nashville and signed them to his record label Black Hen Music. Latimer says it was exciting working with Dawson, whom she describes as a brilliant multi-instrumentalist.
“It was really great,” Latimer said. “He likes to have the performances be quite natural in the studio so he doesn’t give you a lot of takes, while I like to do a lot of takes, so it was a good compromise. But I think he caught a lot more energy, which is nice.”
The title track of the 12-song album was written for Latimer’s mother-in-law who lives in an assisted living centre. She fell in love at a young age, but her husband passed away very early and she never remarried. Latimer says she is now waiting to be reunited with her husband.
Despite the personal subject matter, Latimer says writing this sort of song is pretty natural for her.
“It’s generally what I tend to write about, it is whatever I am mauling through in my brain, and I try to filter it through a lens of beauty,” she said. “I try to find the beautiful parts of the tough parts of life.”
When they will be performing in Lloydminster, Leaf Rapids will have toured their album in 13 venues where Latimer says they have had a better reception than expected. Two of their shows have been sold-out, and the overall response has been heart-warming.
“My heart is filled with love right now,” Latimer said. “It’s been really exciting.”
Once this tour is over the duo will be heading out to the U.K, the Netherlands, and Germany for five weeks. Latimer will be sad to leave because it will mean parting ways with Grant Davidson of Slow Leaves, with whom Leaf Rapids has been performing during this current Canadian tour. Latimer says it has been a pleasure singing with him throughout the tour.
“We could have merged bands, and it sounded really good I think,” she said.
In addition to the tours, Latimer is also currently working on a theremin project with a Canada Council Grant, and composing music for fans of the unique instrument.