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July Flame

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Album Review

In some ways, July Flame might seem to mark a kind of scaling back for Laura Veirs. After a few years on Nonesuch, she has returned to the indie world, and where those Nonesuch releases found her pursuing a more band-oriented, rockish direction, this one harks back to Veirs' folkie beginnings; the arrangements are centered squarely around her own acoustic picking. That's not to imply that July Flame is any kind of step backwards, though; Veirs' producer/boyfriend, Tucker Martine, is still helping her to turn her visions into reality, as he has done since 2003's Troubled by the Fire, and there's a full complement of players supporting those visions here — they're simply deployed in a more subtle manner. Veirs cut her regular band loose before the making of July Flame, mostly for logistical reasons, hence the change of direction. There are a couple of relatively rhythmic cuts here, like the title track, and the backbeat-driven "Summer is the Champion," whose pounding piano, ‘60s pop guitar, and horn punctuation evoke Sgt. Pepper's-era Beatles, but they are exceptions to the rule. When Veirs sings "I want nothing more than to float with you" on "Little Deschutes" (Deschutes is a county in her and Martine's home state of Oregon, in case you were wondering), it can be seen as both an emotional agenda and a musical mission statement. In terms of the latter, a number of tunes on July Flame seem to be rooted in — if not overtly inspired by — Veirs and Martine's state of romantic bliss, especially the dreamy "When You Give Your Heart." If their personal connection is anything like their musical one it's easy to understand why; Martine brings just the right touches to the tracks, with eerie backing vocals, coloristic percussion, and evocative strings popping up at just the right moments and then disappearing again when they're no longer needed. There are no wasted notes anywhere on July Flame, neither in Martine's production nor Veirs' tightly written (but still expressionistically poetic) compositions. ~ J. Allen, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Fresh Air

Laura Veirs has created another set of songs with a unique sound palatte and lush harmonies. I find her blend of old timey composition and indie freshness to be.....quite......fresh. It is both accessible and foreign. Check out "Wide-Eyed, Legless, July Flame, Life is Good, Where are you Driving". The end

sleeper in the valley

Definitely her best yet :D

Almost perfect

I love how eerie, peaceful, and innocent her music and lyrics are. It's a great album :)
My favorite songs would be July Flame and Sleeper in the Valley. Little Deschutes is quite nice too.


Born: 1973 in Colorado

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Seattle singer/songwriter Laura Veirs sings personal songs of romantic intoxication, everyday vignettes, and occasional social commentary that are often heavy on introspection and intense character scrutiny. Her vocals and melodies rapidly shift and veer, up and down her wide vocal range. She put out her own self-titled CD, recorded live and featuring just her and guitar, in 1999. Though she went to the studio for her next album, The Triumphs & Travails of Orphan Mae, it too was self-released (though...
Full bio
July Flame, Laura Veirs
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Customer Ratings