After 2009’s mass success of the wonderful Dame Florence of the Machine 2010 looks to be another year of great female singer songwriters. Both Marina & the Diamonds and Ellie Goulding are set to blow the new decade wide open, and now US born Laura Veirs adds another string to that bow, with her beautiful new album July Flame.
Kicking off a great start for the US born singer’s seventh release, BBC Radio 6 made her latest LP “Album of the Day” last week. Not bad for something that began as simply a name of a peach. After Ms Veirs stumbled upon the so named peach in a Portland farmers market in 2008, she suggested a friend and her each write a song with that title; and so started July Flame.
Much like a summer time mooch through a field, July Flame is soft, warming experience, that bubbles spectacularly in the background. It’d quite happily be at home playing quietly on your kitchen stereo as it would gently pumping in your headphones. Opening tracks I Can See Your Tracks and July Flame glide upon a Fleet Foxes like form. Whilst Summer Is The Champion and Sun Is King tip toe along, tapping into your heartstrings with a sun-baked charm. Little Deschutes and Make Something Good are tender, loving songs like a mother cradling a baby after a bath; the latter featuring Jim James of My Morning Jacket.
It’s a folk sound, stripped to the bare essentials for each track. Veirs’ has moved away from her previous full-band efforts floating back in time to her roots, trusting her finger picking guitar and strings. She borrows from Laura Marling in sound, but not sentiment, infusing an intimate Regina Spektor style of music at times and a touching Bon Iver at another; she weaves a wonderful and touching patchwork to wrap your iPod in an enchanting cocoon of affection.
This is easy listening in essence. But there’s something more than that buried beneath. All you have to do is scratch the surface and the lovely world of Laura Veirs beams through the cracks. It is the sun rising on a summer’s day. It is something that your mother may like. But most importantly, it’s beautiful, joyful and everything that everybody’s favourite season is in a nutshell. So forget the rubbish January snow, July Flame will melt and whisk away your worries with a warm breeze. ----Matt Hamm
Laura Veirs and the Hall of Flames, Old Believers, Led to Sea. Sunday, Feb. 14th, 7PM at the Iron Horse in Northampton. Get your tickets here.