Saturday, March 31, 2007

Laura Veirs--Saltbreakers (New!)

Artist-Laura Veirs
Release Date-Apr 10, 2007
Genre/Style-Singer/Songwriter Indie Pop

Official Site- and

Youtube online videos-Where Gravity is Dead live
CocoaMusic Rating-Recommended

Review-Reviewed by Yahoo.

Earth sciences. So often overlooked as a source of inspiration by our clay-footed pop community. It takes a geology graduate, with a guitar and a knack for melody, to be able to unlock the magic in the natural world and commit it to, so far, four albums. In "Saltbreakers" (a term for waves) the Colorado-raised, Portland-based singer-songwriter follows on in a similar vein to 2005's "Year Of Meteors" and "Carbon Glacier" before that: guitar and piano-based Americana, sprinkled with ethereal chamberlin (vintage Mellotron-like keyboard), viola, marimba and flugelhorn and topped by the most unadorned voice in alt-folk, singing lyrics of almost nerdy intelligence.

A description which does as little to evoke its charms as saying diamonds are the decaying remains of ancient carbon-based organisms. There is a brilliant alchemy at work here between the sublime of the universe and the bathos of everyday living (Veirs describes the album as delving into "the turbulence of her own life"). At every turn the one-time feminist punk rocker turns for consolation against self-doubt not to lovers, friends, or the bottle, but to the planet. Its tides and nightingales, stars and flying fish, cells, storms and forests. What's most winning of all is that this isn't delivered in the coy, anaemic tones of a wyrd-folk fairy princess.

It's delivered as a geology graduate with a guitar and a knack for melody. "Pink Light" tackles the break-up of a long-term relationship, and of welcoming the dawn after a cold, dragging night: "In the fading of the constellations I am growing strong." The inspirational "Don't Lose Yourself" is inspired by (and uses quotes from) Nobel-winning novelist Jose Saramago's "Blindness". She is blinded from staring at the sun, but can now smell "the perfume of the waxing moon" - in its swirling, light melodies this is the album's closest relative to "Year Of Meteor"'s stunning "Galaxies".

The upbeat title track of the new album, apparently inspired by AS Byatt's novel "Possession", is - in keeping with the album's marine obsession - fresh, splashy, bewondered. "I want to put them in jars" says its author of the ocean's fantasy creatures - offering perhaps an explanation of her purpose here, to put her thoughts into song "jars". In "Cast A Hook" she appears to find eternal life through being pierced by a shooting star. An eight-piece Baptist choir joins Veirs, handclaps, Celtic-tinged viola and meandering acoustic guitar lines for "To The Country", a haunting call-and-response number recorded in June Carter and Johnny Cash's old Nashville cabin, and the work's still centre.

Veirs here is at the peak of her game, and as refreshing as a lungful of oxygen. This is an album that has read "The God Delusion" and found itself more in love with the universe than ever.

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