Laura Veirs - Year Of Meteors

The cover of this album (Laura's fifth) sees her looking every inch the sensitive singer songwriter. Pale, frail, bespectacled with a look of intensity in her eyes which pleads with the listener to take her very seriously indeed.

Originally born in Colorado, but now residing in Seattle her new album was produced by the much in demand Tucker Martine who also contributes drums, beats and percussion with the other talented musicians on the album.

"Galaxies" has a feminine but strong vocal from Laura, not unlike a less angry Sinead O'Conner but with a favourable American feel. It's easily the most commercial track on the entire album, poppy but quirky with a chorus delightfully eccentric about human nature and what lies beyond the stars. Her band use electric guitar, synths and piano, drums and bass to convey a mood of mystery illustrated in the lyrics which are poetic and peppered with romantic imagery.

"Rialto" is much more sparse with Steve Moore's piano reflective in his style of playing. The folk feel of a gently strummed acoustic with Laura taking on the mantle of Suzanne Vega as she tackles a nautical theme of sailors, sand, ships and reflecting on the past through rose tinted glasses. It's very dreamy and relaxing but not strong on melody, but after a few listens you'll really appreciate the serenity of the song.

"Spelunking" is a ballad, slow but sturdy, quite magical and simply arranged. The way it's produced makes this track so natural and organic with truthful admissions like "I believe in you in your honesty and your eyes". Her band The Tortured Souls know how to express emotion to equal Laura's words of naked devotion to her songwriting.

"Where Gravity Is Dead" shows imagination in Laura's skill at understanding the complexity of nature and technology on an understated track which draws you in with an effective chorus, shimmering guitars and the unique vocal technique of Laura Veirs.

"Year Of Meteors" is a good introduction to Laura Veirs if you'd never come across her music before. She certainly writes with candour and is a fine musician too. While lyrically she covers complex themes in an unusual way her originality shines through as a performer and songwriter. Veirs may not have universal appeal, but as an individual we need raw talent like her, a voice which deserves to be heard.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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