Leeroy Stagger: Strange Attractor
The highly-regarded Albertan roots troubadour previews a new album with a single that has a surprising but attractive glam rock feel.
By Kerry Doole
Leeroy Stagger- Strange Attractor (True North): This is the first single and video from the highly-regarded Albertan roots-rocker's upcoming album, Strange Path, due Sept. 13.
After 17 years as a singer-songwriter and 10 years sober, Stagger is in an interesting phase, personally and creatively, and this compelling track shows he's still willing to take chances.
Strange Attractor is certainly not the sound you'd expect, given the infectious glam-rock tinge to a tune driven by pulsating keyboards and ringing guitar. More Marc Bolan than Steve Earle, you could say, but both (a little) strange and attractive.
Directed by Brock Davis Mitchell, the accompanying video draws inspiration from films like The Favourite and ‘Marie Antoinette and weaves an experimental narrative with shocking bursts of colour.
In a label press release, Stagger explains that “Nothing is permanent when you really stop and think. The home we live in, the car we drive, the children we raise, the art we make and the skin that we’re in. It’s not forever, it’s barely real, and that’s ok to me because I’ve been shown the truth of it all. In seeing that it’s not that big of a deal, this has shown me how beautiful it all is. It’s precious, impermanent, and beautiful. Strange Attractor is about the unseen nature of impermanence and the sacredness of the life we live.”
Expect plenty of philosophical soul-searching on the album. The record features an impressive guest list, including drummer Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Los Lobos), longtime collaborator Tyson Maiko, Paul Rigby (Neko Case, Garth Hudson), Ryland Moranz and Michael Ayotte. The album was mixed by five-time Grammy winner Ryan Freeland (Ray LaMontagne, Bonnie Raitt, Rodney Crowell) and Brad Barr of The Barr Brothers shared producer’s chair with Leeroy on four of the eleven tracks.
This scribe has been singing Stagger's praises for over a decade, so it is pleasing to see him finally get the recognition he has long deserved.
Leeroy Stagger plays South Country Fair, Fort Macleod on July 19, and Canmore Folk Festival on Aug. 3.
Publicity: Jen Fritz