PORTLAND songstress Laura Veirs, who has been delighting our ears for a full 21 years now with her beautifully judged and melodious Americana, is readying herself for the release of her eleventh studio set for Bella Union, My Echo, which is due in the shops on October 23rd.
Having shared a video for “Burn Too Bright” in July – an entirely hummable, roots-poppy outing with some rather ace chalk artists in the video – she’s back to tease those of us who love well-crafted rootsiness with the appropriately coloured lyric video for “Turquoise Walls”; watch it with us, below.
It’s an ever so pretty but lyrically troubled song about the 3am fears climbing out of her subconscious. “When I thought that I might lose you, oh I trembled like a leaf,” she sings; “I tossed and turned and threw the blankets off, oh I could not sleep / Thinking of you keeping someone else’s pillow warm” – but still manages to fashion those deep, dark moments into a very fine and no doubt cathartic song.
She says: “This song is about me angsting in my room late at night, staring at the bedroom walls that my ex and I painted turquoise.
“I like how the Nashville guitar and the banjo add a feeling of lightness to this song with rather dark lyrics.
“I wrote a bunch of versions of this song; I hit the sweet spot on version #5. This song uses only four chords throughout. Sometimes simpler is better when crafting catchy tunes!”
Continuing, Laura says with acuity: “My Echo is my 11th solo album. It’s my ‘my songs knew I was getting divorced before I did’ album.
“My conscious mind was trying as hard as I could to keep my family together, but my subconscious mind was working on the difficult struggles in my marital life.
“By the time the album was being mixed last fall, my ex-husband/producer Tucker Martine and I had decided to go our separate ways. We were a great musical team for many years but we struggled to be compatible in our marriage and family life and that struggle is reflected in this album.
“My world was turned upside down in my divorce and it felt like nothing new to be forced into further deep uncertainty with the pandemic. I was already prepped for the kind of thinking required for dealing with the unknown.
“Also, as an artist you always have to deal with that fact anyways since art is such a precarious way to make a living.”
With her ex Tucker behind the mixing desk perhaps for the final time, she’s assembled a set of songs about the disintegration of a love ended, the growing impulse for freedom and another way of living; the current regime in the US, and aging.
She’s brought in some high-calibre collaborators, including fellow Portland singer-songwriter M Ward, Jim James, Karl Blau, and Bill Frisell.
Expect Laura’s deft way with a guitar and a tune to take us on a honed journey through what’s been a hellishly difficult year for us all.
Laura Veirs’ My Echo will be released by Bella Union on October 23rd on digital, CD, trad black and limited pink vinyl. It’s available to pre-order now at the Bella Union store.