Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On Getting Laser Eyes

Last week I got Lasik. I was looking forward to not having to deal with glasses getting smudged by my kids or slipping off my face. I figured that not needing them would be pretty convenient. However, the words I heard over and over from other people who'd already done it were: "life-changing." That seemed to be overstating a bit. Convenient, yes, but life-changing? I didn't get it. I get it now. I've had some kind of vision correction, either glasses or contacts, for the last thirty-odd years, which is nearly as far back as I can remember. And what I hadn't realized was the extent to which this had become part of my identity. It's not that I thought glasses were cool because I wore them--although I did and they are. It's that the ability to see was, for me, artificial and temporary. And my vision was pretty bad, so my natural state was one of... not so much "blindness" as "isolation." There was a layer of vagueness that sat bet

100 Album: "Game Of Thrones Season 3 Soundtrack" by Ramin Djawadi

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the  explainer  or view  the master list . Artist:  Ramin Djawadi Title:   Game Of Thrones, Season 3 Soundtrack Released:  2013 Genre:  DAH duh, duh-duh-DAH duh, duh-duh-DAH duh He's not as big a name as Hans Zimmer or John Williams or the various Newmans out there, but Ramin Djawadi is easily the most interesting composer working in television right now (with due respect to Bear McCreary). Soundtracks, especially television soundtracks because they're produced so quickly, have a tendency to serve more as a wall of atmosphere than anything else. But Djawadi's work here and on Westworld  has generated some amazing musical themes. There's a strong undercurrent of leitmotif informing the way the music flows together and the themes those motifs are built around are damned  catchy--which you know if you got the joke in the genre description above. While all of the soundtracks for GoT  are very listenable, this is m

100 Albums: "Fashion Nugget" by Cake

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the  explainer  or view  the master list . Artist:  Cake Title:   Fashion Nugget Released:  1996 Genre:  lo-fi indie alt-rock There was a summer when I was in college that I spent every spare minute playing Super Bomber Man  on the SNES and listening to Cake's Fashion Nugget  (and one other album that I will get to shortly). Cake broke in the late era of grunge with The Distance , a--ahem--driving song about a man racing to get back to his love, or something like that. The metaphor was unclear, but the song was catchy as hell. They followed it up with a cover of I Will Survive  that was much more indicative of Cake's sound: lo-fi vintage guitar, a lead trumpet, John McCrea's deadpan just-off-rhythm singing and sarcastic lyrics, and Victor Damiani's frenetic bass-playing. Fashion Nugget  was independently produced under the ethos of "if you can't make it sound clean, make it sound dirty in an interesti