The ukulele is a small, wooden instrument often associated with the island tunes of Hawaii. In today’s music world, the ukulele is commonly laid on top of guitar and percussion tracks. It’s seen as a wonderful addition, and rarely is it the star of the show.
But Naomi Shore and Lindsay Pratt of Twin Peaks command a room with their ukuleles, and they’re bringing their four-string-operated vibes to Gallery Vertigo June 9.
“We’ve played in Vernon before,” Shore said. “We play there almost every year, and the shows get better each time.
“We love to be in the Okanagan. It’s guaranteed nice weather.”
Twin Peaks formed in Pratt and Shore’s shared birthplace of Fort St. John, B.C., and with their music, they hope to share their love of home.
“We’re really influenced by our hometown,” Shore said. “We really pride ourselves on being proud, strong, northern women. It’s not always easy to be a feminist in Northern B.C.”
Shore’s smokey baritone ukulele and keyboard work is juxtaposed against Pratt’s sweet four-string picking, creating delicate yet intriguing harmonies.
“I think we’re calling ourselves sweet and smokey roots music,” Shore said. “It’s the contrast we have as singers and as people.”
Twin Peaks has toured steadily and has been pushing boundaries since their formation, earning a top-10 spot in CBC Radio 3’s Tracks on Tracks contest in 2012 and rising to the national finals in the 2014 CBC Searchlight contest.
Part of their success, Shore feels, is due to their back-and-forth, light-hearted stage presence for which Twin Peaks is known.
“We’re definitely known for our humour and banter,” Shore said, adding that they are often cracking jokes on stage or just having a laugh.
They’ve won over the crowds with their ukuleles, winning a Vancouver Island Music Award for B.C.-wide artist of the year, and both of their albums have been nominated for Western Canadian Music Awards. Their album Trouble won the Western Canadian Music Award for roots duo/group recording of the year in 2015.
It’s a success they’re looking to achieve again.
“We had to tour a bit to make some money for studio time,” Shore said.
The folk-roots duo knew each other growing up in Fort St. John, but were separated by an age difference. It wasn’t until they were both adults that they truly connected.
“As adults, there’s really only one open mic to go to,” Shore said. “We were kind of competing and that didn’t make sense.”
So Shore and Pratt decided to join forces to form Twin Peaks.
“Now we’re best buds.”
Twin Peaks is performing at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo June 9. Doors open at 6 p.m. with music at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for $15 in advance by contacting Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org, online at www.okomfest.com, or for $20 at the door. For more information, visit www.twinpeaksmusic.ca.