Album of the Month – Laura Veirs “Warp and Weft”

Warp = the threads that run up and down on a loom or in a woven fabric.  Weft = the filling thread or yarn in weaving, drawn through the warp.  It helped for me to know that when listening to the latest by LAURA VEIRS.

VEIRS‘ previous albums, packed with clever hooks and interesting harmonies, have become staples in my listening diet.  They have not grown old in any way and helped create some real anticipation for this latest collection.  VEIRS is a top notch songwriter.  I have read “Warp and Weft” described as more electric guitar based, and there is some truth to that, but it is some of the lyrics that are what strike me as different from “July Flame” (2010) or previous albums.  There are certainly less water and mermen references for starters.  Several of the songs are much more direct.   “Amercia” has VEIRS throwing her clear concerns about gun violence and our society right out in front of the listener.  “That Alice” finds VEIRS telling the story of ALICE COLTRANE’s contributions to music and culture.   “Sadako Folding Cranes” frames a beautiful melody around the story of SADAKO SASAKI who, as a two year old, survived the atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima.  These songs are clearly vessels for what is on VEIRS’ mind.

I have always been drawn to the interesting arrangements and tasty production from hubby TUCKER MARTINE.   This time there are great guests who are not just included for star power but who really help create and enhance the songs they are featured in.  NEKO CASE’s bridge in “Sun Song” is an exclamation point on an already fantastic song.  JIM JAMES, k d lang and others are in there too.  It’s fun to try to pick them out.

This album did not initially jump out at me like “July Flame” (2010) but, like “Year of Meteors” (2005) before it, it has slowly revealed it’s greatness.  If you are not familiar, LAURA VEIRS is the real deal and this is an excellent starting point.  This album is a real weft, another thread in a great catalog so far.  Hmm… is that proper use of the term?

Oh, and if you buy the actual CD, you get an origami!  C’mon.


“Sun Song”

“Dorothy of the Island”

“Finster Saw the Angels”

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