Laura Veirs announces My Echo

Laura Veirs has announced news of her eleventh solo album My Echo released 23rd October via Bella Union. The album features guest appearances from Jim James, Bill Frisell, Karl Blau, Matt Ward and others. Veirs has shared a first track, “Burn Too Bright”, inspired by the late Richard Swift.

Of the track Veirs says: “I wrote about a million versions of this song before landing on this version at the end of the recording session for my new album last summer. Sometimes a song pours out fully finished and sometimes I need to wrack my brain and try many different approaches until it feels right. This one messed with me for a long time and I almost gave up on it – but I’m glad I persevered because this is one of my favorite tracks on the new album. The song was inspired by the passing of the great NW producer and musician Richard Swift. I didn’t know him personally but he was a close friend to many in my community and I admire his artistry a lot. His death got me thinking about people who seem to ‘burn too bright’ for this world. The song is dedicated to the many bright, artistic and heroic souls who have sadly left this plane too soon.” 

Of the video Veirs adds: “In March I had been walking my dog around the neighborhood thinking about how to make a cool video with sidewalk chalk and this concept came to mind. It was shot by Lance Bangs right before lockdown. It was drawn be me, my two sons Oz (7) and Tennessee (10) and our babysitter Lori VanRavenhorst over the course of 8 hours in a church parking lot in NE Portland. Much of the video was shot from the ground; I love how the entire piece is revealed in the final drone shot. The next day rains came and washed the chalk away. Much of my new album is about disintegration, death and the ephemeral nature of things, so the making – and nature’s taking away – of this giant chalk drawing fits well into the album’s overall concept.” 

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. I was part of a “Secret Poetry Group” that met and wrote poems monthly for a year during the writing of this record. Many of my poems turned into songs for this album. 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.
In this new batch of songs I imagine escaping from some sort of prison or cage. Advancing age, the confines of domesticity, our oppressive government and the threat of the apocalypse permeate these songs. In these songs my heart craves certainty and permanence but none is to be found. It’s an album about disintegration. It reveals my artist’s intuition at work.
Although these songs were written before quarantine they are strangely relevant to times in which we find ourselves currently. You will find me staring at the walls (Turquoise Walls). You will find me feeling grateful to be alive (Memaloose Island). You will find me accepting the ephemeral nature of life (Vapor Trails and All the Things). You will find me searching for personal freedom while feeling trapped (Freedom Feeling). You will find me trying to accept that sometimes the best thing to do is to sit still and do nothing at all (Another Space and Time).

Produced by Tucker Martine in the summer and fall of 2019 in Portland, OR. Includes appearances from Jim James, Bill Frisell, Karl Blau, Matt Ward and others.”

A Valentine’s day treat from Laura Veirs

Today, Laura Veirs, newly separated, releases “I Was A Fool”, the first thing she’s ever recorded herself as it flowed out of her stream-of-consciousness style on the first go with no edits.

Of the track Veirs says: “My marriage was falling apart. I was strumming my guitar and I felt a song coming on. Normally song-writing for me involves editing and fussing before the song feels ‘right’, but not this time. I grabbed my phone and recorded this song as it wrote itself — it came out this way, completely formed and realized. It’s a rare thing for this to happen to me. Rather than sitting on this song and waiting for a new album I simply had to release it, as soon as possible. I offer this up on Valentine’s Day as a balm for the broken-hearted.”

Lyrics:
I was a fool
I was a fool
Was I really loving you
In October and May
Every night and every day
I was a fool
You can’t change the way the wind blows,
You can try but everybody worth their salt knows
You can’t mess with the breeze
It just does what it pleases
I was a fool
Down on my knees
I was a fool
There again I was a fool
And I tried
To live my life free
I was a fool
I was a fool
Was I really really loving you
In October and May
Every night and every day
I was a fool
I was a fool