Monday, August 26, 2013

Laura Veirs - Warp & Weft (2013)

For longevity as a singer/songwriter so much emphasis seems to be placed on reinvention - elevating previously existing songwriting forms to new heights, tonal shifts and the like but fortunately for Portland's Laura Veirs and her latest offering - ninth studio record Warp & Weft, all that's required to offer up a truly special record is a little bit of imagination (which luckily Veirs has in spades) and help from a few of her talented musicians friends (like guest vocals/harmonies from Neko Case on "Sun Song").

Warp & Weft is an intimately felt record filled with intriguing songwriting concepts from orphans to origami cranes are all given their due without it seeming at all unrelated or unrelateable. Each of Laura Veirs' albums features a truly roaring indie rock jam from "Black Gold Blues" to "July Flame" and Warp & Weft's takes the form as another feat of homage akin to July Flame's "Carol Kaye" in "That Alice" - a musical tribute to Alice Coltrane. Perhaps more so than other releases, Veirs indulges not only in the more fast-paced, forward-moving rock element but in pure ambiance-setting tracks ("Ghosts of Louisville", "Ikaria"), the result is a more balanced pairing of indie rock and twangy introspective folk. 

Veirs' latest is an album of endearing worth, full of truly enjoying musical moments and a strong batch of songs that really flows with an album feel. Warp & Weft may be less obviously tonally cohesive than say Year of Meteors, Saltbreakers, or July Flame but it's far from a disjointed or aimless effort. It's an album where you favorite track depends on the day as almost all of them (the two instrumental/vocalise tracks aside) are full of thoughtful, compelling lyricism, dynamic, masterful arrangements and even by album number nine are anything but predictable. 

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