Musings about music.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Laura Veirs - July Flame


I first came across Laura Veirs during her collaboration on the Decemberists album The Crane Wife. Since my initial exposure to her I’ve listened to all of her albums and have always been impressed by her strong voice and her heartfelt lyrics. I’ve been anticipating the release of her seventh album July Flame since I read about it last November.

For me it was really refreshing to hear that she has returned to her more folk sound as her last two albums had deterred from it a little bit. I can honestly say I love everything about this album. I like music that allows me to visualize and July Flame does just that. When I put it on and close my eyes I feel like I'm lounging in a hammock on hot summer day, it just gives you that feeling.

I'm particularly fond of the title track and Make Something Good, the duet with Jim James from My Morning Jacket. The contrast of their voices paired with Veirs' lyrics produces something really outstanding. Following closely is Carol Kaye, a song about the famous bassist. In one line she sings, "Not a household name but she's been in your head all day. It would be so cool to be like Carol Kaye." Well, mission accomplished Laura because you've been in my head all day.

I feel this is her finest work to date. Old fans will be happy to hear how much she has developed over the last few years and new fans will find this album to be an excellent starting place to discover an amazing talent.

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