They might be good and they might be lovely, but the Juno Award-winning Good Lovelies are no longer retro.
The harmonious Canadian trio, once compared to the Andrews Sisters, is looking forward, rather than back, on the album, Burn the Plan.
The 2015 release turned out more pop than folk-country, said Caroline Brooks, who performs with Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore at a sold-out show on Thursday at Fratters Speakeasy in Red Deer.
“It’s less old-timey,” added Brooks. “There’s more electric guitar and keys, and generally a different feeling on the album …”
As four years had passed since the last Good Lovelies studio recording, the trio wanted to explore new ground. “It wasn’t a conscious thing … we just wanted to go to places where we hadn’t been before,” she said.
Fans won’t have to brace for a dramatic difference, however. While the album opens with a drum machine, the group’s sound is still all about lush harmonies.
All three singers are credited as co-writers on the release, but there were strong individual contributions.
Ough wrote most of In the Morning about trying to become a morning person so she can see her engineer husband off for work. “It’s a sweet song about their opposite schedules,” said Brooks.
Passmore wrote When the City Settles about her need for a quiet space, away from city bustle.
And Brooks penned the fairy-tale ballad The Doe in the style of an English folk song. The lyrics tell of a woman who’s turned into a doe by her wicked mother-in-law. “It’s about a hunter and his lady. I’ll leave it at that,” said Brooks, with a chuckle.
The Good Lovelies have weathered some significant changes over the past couple of years.
When the group was formed in 2006, Brooks, Ough and Passmore were all living in Toronto. Now the three have spread out, from one end of the country to another — which could have presented challenges if the performers weren’t so familiar with each other’s musical and personal styles, said Brooks.
“It sucks for coffee dates … but we have a good thing going, and we are able to meet up early (to practise) before our tours, so it’s working out quite well.”
Ough now resides in St John’s, N.L. where her husband works. Brooks remains in Toronto, but Passmore is in Victoria, B.C. — although that will soon change, since both Brooks and Passmore are pregnant with babies due in March.
This will be a second child for Brooks, who has a spouse and three-year-old daughter at home, and a first baby for Passmore, who plans to move her family back to Ontario to be closer to relatives.
The timing of the two pregnancies was not exactly coincidental, Brooks admitted. “This way we can take four or five months off, otherwise, it might have stretched into a whole year!”
The Good Lovelies look forward to their last tour — for a while. “People in Alberta have always been so good to us. They’re very supportive of our music,” said Brooks.
Fans can get another new 2015 recording at the concert — Winter’s Calling, an EP of three original Good Lovelies tunes, as well as their popular cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s Song for a Winter’s Night.