“Vultures circle overhead, squirrels are in the attic, there's a kiss in the toxic rain, and a town that hits 40-below at 4 AM. Stuff is going on here.”
— Bob Mersereau's Top 100 Canadian Blog
Leaf Rapids is a tiny, secluded, once thriving mining town in northern Manitoba, Canada. Keri Latimer is a tiny, reclusive, once thriving singer songwriter who married a bass player from Leaf Rapids and stole both his and his town’s name. Under the moniker of Leaf Rapids the Latimer’s travel the world performing Keri’s strange songs. That is, when she is not hiding in her Winnipeg studio, mining for treasures and helping them find their ghostly voices.
Why do we say “once thriving” singer songwriter? Is it because she hasn’t won a JUNO AWARD since 2008, or that she isn’t on the Nettwerk Records label anymore with her band Nathan? Or perhaps because ever since she received a songwriting award over Canadian superstar Bryan Adams, he won’t accept her calls?
To meet her, you wouldn't guess she is a 2018 Western Canadian Music Awards Visual Media Composer of the Year nominee, a film composer for movies that have won Academy Awards, has been featured with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on the theremin for the past 3 years, and toured with Leaf Rapids in the US, Europe and the UK in support of their debut album, “Lucky Stars."
And when one writes about gropy lumberjacks being stabbed in the thighs by scissor wielding great grandmothers and ‘vacation’ songs that are actually about one’s Japanese ancestor’s Internment camp experiences... well, there is likely no hope of dominating the commercial music airwaves.
But perhaps you don’t care about that sort of thing. Perhaps you are the type of person that would enjoy watching her wave her arms around in mid air like a mad woman conjuring melodies from an instrument you don’t touch, and weaving this into a looped soundscape of voice, guitar, bass and maybe pedal steel or banjo or what-have-you from whomever Leaf Rapids can convince to join them on stage, all the while crooning gleefully about lovers being eaten by vultures.
If so, watch for Leaf Rapids new album "Citizen Alien," slated for release in the spring of 2019. It was co-produced with sonic genius Rusty Matyas (Imaginary Cities), and features some of the best musicians in Winnipeg including her Middle of Nowhere pals: Alexa Dirks (Begonia), Grant Davidson (Slow Leaves) and JP Hoe. It also contains what she considers some of her strongest songwriting to date, I mean it’s no Bryan Adams...
And to be completely honest, he never accepted her calls in the first place.