With her new album Found Light due out 8th July via Bella Union, and having previously shared a video for lead track “Winter Windows”, today Laura Veirs shares her new single and video, “Seaside Haiku”. Additionally, Veirs has announced that she’ll be appearing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, performing on the acoustic stage on Saturday 25th June.
Commenting on the track “Seaside Haiku” Veirs says: “I took a solo vacation last winter and wrote a bunch of haikus after wandering around on a windy beach in Seaside, Oregon. Later I turned the haikus into the lyrics for this song. I love the breakdown in the middle of this song, how the instruments clear out and my vocals sound very close and intimate. I also love how mixer Phil Weinrobe warped my out-of-time acoustic guitars in the choruses. It reminds me of cold, sandy ocean waves rolling in and receding back into the sea. This song captures the feeling I had of my emerging independence as a solo woman in the world during that wintry time. It’s been a learning curve for me to figure out how not to give too much of myself in relationships at the expense of my own needs. This is a song to remind myself not to give too much, and also to remind all women who are socialized to give so much to others. This song is a call to hold onto our strength and power and to share it reciprocally instead of blithely giving it away.
Regarding the video she adds: “I returned to the beach a year later to make this video. I thought getting buried up to my neck in the sand would be a weird, eye-catching beginning to the video. (Little did I know a wave would almost overtake me in the first verse!) This video captures the threads of unburying and freedom that run throughout my new album.”
If 2020’s My Echo—written and mixed just prior to her 2019 split from her long-time husband, her long-time producer, and the father of her two sons—was Veirs’ divorce album, Found Light is about what comes after. The separation left her questioning her identity as an artist: had that part of her, which seemed intractably intertwined with her partner for so long, been swallowed in the split? Would she ever make music again? Historically, Veirs handled her song’s most fundamental elements — the writing and the singing — but she always left arrangement and production decisions to her partner, even down to the final tracklist. Though she co-owned a studio with him, she never led the charge in it, and she had never played guitar while singing on tape at the same time. Despite having put out a dozen albums, she wondered if she actually had the know-how to make one without him.
Absolutely and emphatically: Yes. Following a string of brief sessions (some with Death Cab for Cutie multi-instrumentalist Dave Depper, and some alone in her own home), she booked time at Portland’s Jackpot Studios, then called her old friend Ismaily and asked him to join. They clicked and opted to co-produce the album. Ismaily offered guidance and insight, but gave her space to make her own choices and invite her own guests, like Sam Amidon and Karl Blau. She finally sang while she played guitar, realizing perhaps for the first time she was actually great at something she’d done most of her life.
Veirs spent months doubting herself, doubting her ability to make an album without the aegis of her ex-partner. But after her divorce, she started writing, exercising, painting, playing, and seeing other people, both romantically and artistically. She was discovering new sides of herself, or even rediscovering ones she’d lost — in both cases, finding new light. Found Light is a provocative document of it all, from her paintings that adorn it to her tales of lovers and woes and realizations therein. Despite the sadness and suffering that prompted these 14 graceful wonders, they are ultimately a testament to the inspiration of independence, to shaping new possibilities for yourself even after great loss. Found Light is a reminder that we are always capable of something more.
Laura Veirs June UK tour:
Thursday 9th June – Norwich – Norwich Arts Centre
Friday 10th June – Nottingham – The Bodega Social Club
Saturday 11th June – Cambridge – Storey’s Field Centre
Sunday 12th June – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
Tuesday 14th June – Gosforth – Civic Theatre
Wednesday 15th June – Edinburgh – Summerhall Arts Venue
Thursday 16th June – Glasgow – Stereo
Saturday 18th June – Leeds – Belgrave Music Hall
Sunday 19th June – Manchester – The Deaf Institute
Tuesday 21st June – Pentrych – Acapela Studios
Wednesday 22nd June – Bristol – Thekla
Thursday 23rd June – Exeter – Phoenix
Saturday 25th June – Glastonbury – Glastonbury Festival
Monday 27th June – Portsmouth – Wedgewood Rooms
Tuesday 28th June – Guildford – The Boileroom
Wednesday 29th June – Brighton – Komedia
Thursday 30th June – London – Union Chapel