Image © Nonesuch Records 2005
(30 August 2005) Laura Veirs is a Colorado born, Seattle-based singer/songwriter/guitarist who has recently released her "road record" called Year of Meteors (Nonesuch Records (USA) 79873-2, 2005). This fifth album by the alt/folk singer differs from her previous works. Along with her band, The Tortured Souls, she presents her travelogue.
"All the songs are about transportation, motion. If you listen to the words, there's always some movement happening, whether it's greyhounds running down a mountainside as mud flows or a person flying off into the sun or someone lurking around the bottom of the sea. I think that's because I was in motion so much of the year. Somehow I knew that all the traveling would come into the songs, but I wanted to remain focused on the bigger things, not just life on the road," according to Laura.
The songs seem to take on a pop-oriented expression with lyrics that include dreamlike images of sky and sea, punctuated by guitar bursts, handclaps and melodic keyboards and strings. The album was produced by The Tortured Souls percussionist band member, Tucker Martine. Other featured musicians include Steve Moore on piano and organs, Karl Blau on bass, guitar and vocals, and Eyvind Kang on viola.
Laura's vocals come across with flat intonations or overenuciated words, but achieve an effect special to this singer. Each melody is distinguished with its own characteristics, bringing the arrangements to the forefront. Ranging from the handclaps on "Rialto" to the lilting, melodic "Secret Someones" to the beautiful countrified strings in "Parisian Dream," Laura's journey incorporates a variety of sounds. In "Black Gold Blues" she allows bursts of grungy guitars, while the ballads in "Spelunking" and "Magnetized" show the gentler side of this artist.
"I love when I can write a lyric that brings a clear image to mind. That's kind of what I'm striving for. Year of Meteors is certainly an album that is expansive in sound and a substantial band record. She lures the listener with her seductive and elegant yet sad conceptual imagery.
Laura's individualistic tones and haunting lyrical qualities mix with a smoothness and unforgettable flair of delivery making this a vividly descriptive journey.