The music of Laura Veirs, admittedly, did not really grab my attention upon the first few listens. It wasn't until a few months ago, while awaiting the Decemberists to take the stage, that a song played out over the loud speakers and piqued my interest.
Download: Laura Veirs - "Magnetized"
It may have been purely repetition, as the song and album was played no less than three times through the night, but one song managed to lodge itself in my memory. Upon listening to "Magnetized," from 2005's Year of Meteors, since that night it is clear it was more than simple repetition. The song is undeniably beautiful and filled with a sort of haunting imagery. It was this track that led me to Saltbreakers, her most recent release, and in my opinion her best.
While Saltbreakers is her most elaborate effort musically (the fact that Bill Frisell makes appearances on her records can only enhance the musical credibility), her live set was a bit more bare as she stood before the audience with only her acoustic guitar to accompany the set. This is surely not new ground for Laura Veirs, in fact in many ways it caters to her style of cerebral, image rich style of folk-rock. Much like headliner Mirah, the music can convey a straightforward candidness. While often solemn, the songs always feel honest which makes them intriguing. Her voice contains a dark directness that seems to compel the music to follow along. While all these factors create a base for a firm solo acoustic performance, Logan Square proved to be a bit too large of venue for this style of music. In the future, perhaps a smaller venue or a backing band may better convey the greatness that Veirs achieves on her albums.