Seattle-based (but Colorado-raised) singer-songwriter Laura Veirs matured
through a series of simple but profound collections of rural folk tales:
the live Laura Veirs (1999),
The Triumphs and Travails of Orphan Mae (2001 - Kill Rock Stars, 2006),
and Troubled by the Fire (2003).
Carbon Glacie (Bella Union, 2004), with Ether Sings,
upped the ante of her art, particularly of how she delivered and accompanied
her vivid, impressionistic lyrics.
Year of Meteors (Nonesuch, 2005), featuring a real band, the Tortured Souls (Steve Moore on keyboards, Karl Blau on guitars, Tucker Martine on percussion, Eyvind Kang on viola),
upped the ante of her arrangements
Where Gravity Is Dead,
Saltbreakers (Nonesuch, 2007), which also became the new name for the Tortured Souls,
lacked the cohesive maturity of its predecessor and invested too much in
Veirs' lyrics (like the vast majority of songwriters, she was not exactly
William Shakespeare, although she could have been a better poet than
Thus Phantom Mountain and Don't Lose Yourself (the band efforts)
sound unnatural and unconvincing, although they may win her a broader audience.
Ocean Night Song and To The Country come closer to matching
the lyrics with gusto. As evident in the opener, Pink Light, here the
touch of the producer is not just a detail; or, better, the "details" are
Musically speaking, the progress on Judy Flame (2009) was really the
progress of her usual producer Tucker Martine, who discreetly
choreographed an arsenal of instruments (even synths) to her sonic canvas.
Veirs' song per se hardly change from album to album, although a few stand
out (Little Deschutes, Summer Is the Champion) as magical
evocations of magical moments.
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