27 April 2018

Laura Veirs - The Lookout

I first fell under the charms of Laura Veirs via Starbucks of all things.  This might not be a fashionable thing to say something started at a major corporate coffee chain, but that’s what happened.  Way back in the day, Starbucks had a little arrangement with iTunes, giving away little cards with free downloads to tracks.  One such download was titled something like Americana Ladies or Women of Folk.  I’m generally a sucker for any free music, so I decided to check it out.  As you’ve probably correctly assumed, there was a Laura Veirs track on this download.  It was “July Flame”, taken from the album of the same name.  It was head and shoulders above everything else on that download.  It left such a positive impression that, if I'm honest, I’m struggling to remember the other tracks.  But I do remember “July Flame” vividly.  It was like being knocked over by a gentle breeze, it became a mainstay on my playlists for a long time, which still makes regular appearances occasionally.

From that moment, I was hooked on her music.  She describes her writing style as personal, but not overtly confessional, which is a beautiful statement.  If you’ve ever listened to any of her work, this is also very obvious.  The Lookout is her first solo album since 2013’s Warp and Weft, also following from the female alt. country super album veirs/lang/case.  As beautiful an album as veirs/lang/case was, it’s felt like an eternity since the last solo Laura Veirs release.  But here is the question that I must now contemplate – is The Lookout any good?

Over the course of twelve melodic laden tracks, Ms. Veirs has created the standout album of her career.  I say that in full knowledge of her back catalogue, this album is her pinnacle.  From the opening notes of “Margaret Sands”, via the questioning “The Lookout”, towards the insanely catchy “Watch Fire” and ending with heart-breaking “Zozobra”, The Lookout is everything I could have wanted and much more.  Each song is a little piece of a story that you’re invited to view, but you never truly find out the ending.  It’s both open and closed at the same time, which is truly refreshing.  I love this Alt. Country album, it’s a perfect companion for all occasions.

Are there any flaws?  Well, yes and no.  The only flaw it has, in my opinion, is that it ends.  Apart from that, it’s a perfect record.  It leaves you wanting more, there is a beautiful loss to the music and it stays with you long after the final notes have rung out.  This might be a short review, but it’s an honest one.  This is another classic record from one of my favourite artists, she is a trailblazer and The Lookout will be in my top albums of 2018, you can bank on that.

10 out of ten – This is proof that there is a deity.

Top track – The Lookout

You can purchase The Lookout on Amazon here.

You can visit the Laura Veirs website here.

You can follow the activities of Laura Veirs on Facebook here.

You can stream The Lookout on Spotify here.

You can stream The Lookout on Deezer here.

You can stream The Lookout on Tidal here.

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