What does it sound like?:
When Laura Veirs’ first major label album Carbon Glacier came out in 2004 I hated it. It was spare, quirky, lacking in decent tunes and willfully difficult – or so I thought. 14 years on and it’s one of my favourite albums of the noughties. Since then Laura Veirs has released four albums of her particular brand of neo-folk, a collection of children’s songs Tumble Bee, has played a leading role in the Case / Lang / Veirs project, and this her fifth solo album of original material. Only 2013’s Warp & Weft diverged from the familiar sound, being a much more electric guitar based prospect. The Lookout is largely acoustic, cool, calm, tuneful and features Veirs’ slightly detached and effortless vocal style. It’s immensely soothing, reassuring, and seems perfectly pitched for these chaotic and frightening times. It would be easy to dismiss Laura Veirs as bland – she comes on a bit like a female Josh Rouse, but like him she redeems herself with great tunes. This is also optimistic music, perhaps at odds with the times, and as such the perfect antidote. The music is largely spare; there’s not an unnecessary piano note or guitar pluck, but this is a warm inviting record that invites you to curl up and give it your full attention. It’s lovely stuff – highly recommended.
What does it all *mean*?
Laura Veirs comes from Colorado, but her ‘chamber folk’ sounds peculiarly Canadian in timbre, evoking frozen wastes and empty spaces.
Goes well with…
All her other albums – if you like this kind of stuff there isn’t a duffer amongst them. Warp & Weft is a personal favourite.
Might suit people who like…
A less shouty version of Neko Case, Jolie Holland with tunes.