She wrote a song for a charity trying to restore habitat for salmon and trout. She created the soundtrack for Todd Louiso’s film Hello I Must Be Going. She recorded an album of children’s songs with the brilliant title Tumble Bee to which Sufjan Stevens openly declared his love. Two years on, Laura Veirs is all set for the release of her ninth album Warp and Weft. Like on Tumble Bee, she is joined by musicians from The Decemberists and My Morning Jacket amongst others. As per usual, the album was produced by her husband Tucker Martine. However, some circumstances were entirely different this time around. Warp and Weft is Veirs’ first record that was recorded in “a proper studio” instead of in a basement. Moreover, at the time of recording, she was eight months pregnant with her second child.
Perhaps that’s why Warp and Weft is a dense, even ruggedly orchestral sonic adventure exploring, for example, the motherhood juxtaposition of overwhelming love and intense fear. Apart from sounds and emotions, Veirs also weaves in stories and old folk songs: “I think of this record as a tapestry where disparate elements come together and are stronger and more lovely as a result.” The title follows suit: warp and weft denote the vertical and horizontal threads in weaving.
From the radiant “su-u-u-n” in “Sun Song” and “Georgia-a-ah” in “Finister Saw the Angels” to the hooks in “America” (where “every madman finds his peace”), from the dark loneliness of dead mothers in “Dorothy of the Island” to the fluid optimism in “Shapeshifter”, Veirs holds her own and the listener’s attention. Not only are there whistling, seaside ship horns and 31 seconds of ghost choir. Complementing the song “Sadako Folding Cranes”, the album comes with origami inside! And, in “Ten Bridges”, with the reassuring knowledge that “dancing always brings joy / tear after tear will fall from your boy / but dancing brings joy”.
Review by: Anne Malewski
UK Tour Dates
10/11/13 Norwich, Norwich Arts Centre
11/11/13 Brighton, Komedia
14/11/13 York, Fibbers
15/11/13 Manchester, Manchester Academy
16/11/13 Glasgow, ABC2
17/11/13 Newcastle, Cluny
19/11/13 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
20/11/13 Bristol, Thekla
21/11/13 London, Islington Assembly Hall
Warp and Weft is out on Bella Union 19 August.
Pre-order from: Amazon