Distilling its music to a pure acoustic folk essence, the Leonas not only prove that less can be more, but that less can be a foundation for wholly surprising musical possibilities. The core duo of Steph Plant and Sarah Vie has found a sound that's as familiar to anyone who discovered the tradition through the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack as one who grew up singing and playing gospel hymns and fiddle tunes. The group's latest album, Forbidden Fruit, has a mythic, feminist theme that never detracts from the cello and violin-drenched songs. The Leonas' calling card may be its extraordinary vocal harmonies, but its thoughtful and passionate take on Americana makes it one of St. Louis' most promising acts, regardless of genre.
Recommended if you like: the Indigo Girls, Gillian Welch, the Be Good Tanyas, Iris DeMent