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100 Albums: "Warp And Weft" by Laura Veirs

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Laura Veirs
Title: Warp And Weft
Released: 2013
Genre: singer/songwriter alt-folk


This album came onto my radar by way of the Next Music podcast, which is where I discover a lot of new music, frankly. I'd heard of Veirs before--she'd been recommended by Vienna Teng on social media--but hadn't gotten around to actually listening. When I heard That Alice (embedded above), I knew I needed to hear more. That Alice, it should be noted, is not particularly representative of the record. It's an up-tempo rock number in the middle of a very low-key album. The opener, Sun Song, does a better job of setting the right tone.

Veirs' work here feels very restrained. Her vocal melodies are bright but she never belts. The guitars always feel very controlled, whether it's the gentle arpeggios of Ten Bridges or the electric thrum of America. She describes her lyrics as personal without being confessional, and you get that impression listening. That Alice is a tribute to Alice Coltrane. America is protest song. My favorite track is Shape Shifter, a song about the murmuration of birds, but as a metaphor for hope during a difficult patch in a relationship. It's seriously one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard, and I especially love the lyrics in the chorus: "Winter's on the way, I think we're gonna make it out if we stick together now."

It's an album that feels very deliberately constructed with a sure hand and clear goal. It's altogether lovely.

Further Listening: I don't know much about the rest of Veirs' catalog, but the album Saltbreakers was the one Teng recommended.

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