When she’s not teaching kids to play the guitar, Laura Veirs is a singer/songwriter. A good one too. The Lookout is her tenth album and first since her collaboration with like-minds Neko Case and K.D. Lang. The Lookout is inspired by wanting to take care, be aware and look after each other. This need was fired in Veirs, like so many things these days, by the aftermath of Donald Trump becoming president. The velvet voices of Jim James and Sufjan Stevens feature. Gold coloured vinyl LP and CD on Bella Union.
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I just knew I'd like the new Laura Veirs record. Yet it took me weeks to get around to listening to it and I'm wondering if the reason it took me so long is because Laura Veirs is always good. I kind of knew it would be good. It is good. So no need to listen to it.
Here sound has developed but not dramatically since the time I got obsessed with Carbon Glacier. She still has that icy sound that only someone who lives in a cold place in America can have. She reminds me of wide open roads, huge skies, lakes, trees, cold, a wood cabin. Her musically is marginally busier than before with a few electronics floating by, the odd tangle of pedal steel guitar, warm acoustics fluttering around but nothing that threatens to drown out her delicate poetic songs. 'Seven Falls' is as upbeat as she gets and it's a beautiful lollop. Veirs has an amazing sense of melodicism throughout - her harmonies are delicious and frothy.
Occasionally things get a little over cooked 'Watch Fire' just....just threatens to swallow up her songwriting in production waffle. I'd prefer starker to let her words really come through and to be the focus of the record rather than sometimes fighting for attention but as a singer songwriter stretching her songs into widescreen full band dynamics she's as good as Suzanne Vega. This is her 'Days of Open Hand' possibly. A lush and varied album meticulously made.
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