US - Oregon - Full Moon 164 - 01/30/10
Raven Marching Band Records/Bella Union
Laura Veirs is out with her 7th album - on her own record label, Raven Marching Band Records in the US and back on Bella Union (Europe and rest of the world). For those not familiar with Laura Veirs, she is a singer/songwriter from Oregon, manoeuvring very elegantly in a folk-inspired indie rock landscape. This being a landscape well crowded with artists, Laura is bringing a lot to the table - her songs and albums got a touch, feel and nerve to them asking for your attention! It might be Laura's confident voice, elegant musical arrangements, the somewhat rural dreaming lyrics - or more likely - the sum of the parts.
This is Laura's best album so far, though check out her earlier albums like Carbon Glacier, Year of Meteors and Saltbreakers, if you haven't done so. July Flame should definitely have the potential to reach out to new listeners. Actually the album came in #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums - top-selling albums by new or developing acts - and also made the much-referenced Billboard 200, debuting at #124!
July Flame refers to a variety of peach, which Laura supposedly saw a at farmers market; learning the name of the fruit, she wanted to write a song about it! The title track is one of the best songs on the album. Together with great songs like "Summer Is the Champion" and "Wide-eyed, Legless", this album, though with its always lurking somewhat melancholic feel to it, should send us dreaming towards summertime and should warm winterfozen souls out there. July Flame is recorded and mixed at Laura's and producer Tucker Martine's home in Portland.
Laura is now out on her European tour, visiting Oslo February 9th at Cafe Mono. With her well performed concert at the same venue during her Year of Meteors' tour in 2005 in mind, and with the album bearing signs of an even more confident, developed and fine-tuned artist, this should be a very nice concert! Yet to see of course, is whether she is still a well kept secret by some niche fans or whether July Flame now has opened the eyes (or ears) of more Laura Veirs fans-to-be. I wouldn't hesitate too long to get a ticket for one of her shows coming near you!
Copyright © 2010 Torkil Sletten