July Flame Video Premiere

From Stereogum:

When we premiered “Wide-Eyed, Legless” I asked Laura Veirs to unpack the ideas behind the title of her seventh album July Flame:

“July Flame” is: A destructive force, lamplight on a cold night, Oregon peach variety, intense summer love, fireworks, war, sunlight trapped in wood, renewal, spooky will-o-the-wisps, desire, pain, ephemera.

You get a lot of that (including the peach variety) in this playfully deadly video concocted by cartoonist Doug Savage for the collection’s title track. If the style looks familiar, it’s because he did her “Phantom Mountain” clip, too. But before you watch: Savaged offered a few bits of trivia that might help enhance your viewing experience.

* The video has 1,804 individual images in it. Yes that’s a lot of photos!
* The fireworks were made from over 180 individual peaches.
* The puppets are painted paper glued to a backing.
* The matches are one of my favorite things in the video. I loved drawing the cover.
* The puppets/set took 3 weeks to design and build. Shooting took 2 weeks.
* Watch for cameo performances from the Phantom Mountain chicken and paper clip.
* The desk is my Grandma’s old kitchen table. You may remember it from the Phantom Mountain video.

The Curtain Is Parted: Listen to The Entire Album at NPR Music.

NPR Music

Laura Veirs 4:3
Go here to listen now.  Then consider supporting Laura by purchasing a keepsake quality edition of July Flame from her boutique label Raven Marching Band.

December 21, 2009 – Laura Veirs‘ latest release, the stripped-down July Flame, uses atmosphere and tension as the connective tissue for its songs. Veirs, who’s been setting her observations to song since 1999, says she was in a writing slump going into this record, so she challenged herself with odd tunings on her nylon-string guitar. She dug deep inside for inspiration, did away with her full band for most of the album and wrote many of these tracks in her barn in Portland, Ore.

July Flame Press Roundup

The reviews keep coming in.  We thought we’d round up some of the highlights:

Laura Veirs - MOJO - Dec 09

“There was a girl, a very strange enchanted girl, who wandered very far from her punk-band past to become an acoustic singer-songwriter whose songs were suffused with the natural world.”  [Four Stars] – Sylvie Simmons, MOJO

The Band: Laura Veirs
The Buzz: Magnificent Portland songwriter delves into the mystic, crafting spare, entrancing pop songs as informed by folk music as they are indie rock. Her upcoming July Flame takes its title from a type of peach, and its content is just as sweet and irresistible.

Key Track: “July Flame,” where Veirs hypnotic, mysterious voice wends its way around stiff guitar, purring an endless string of curious riddles until the whole song crests in a crescendo of swirling violins and ghostly choirs. – J. Edward Keyes, Rolling Stone.

“Part of me wants to make this a review, but I think I’ll let someone who is more skilled at it have a go. And I’ve been so excited this afternoon to preview the full album that I keep skipping back and forth from track to track which isn’t very reviewer-like. But I’ll tell you this….it’s rich with textures and sounds and finger picking and alternate tunings and strong voice.” – No Depression

The natural world is often the star of Pacific Northwest singer-songwriter (and one-time geology major) Laura Veirs’ music—birds and eels and oceans and cliffs and caves and constellations tumble together in surreal lyrics that actually speak to love, loss, and life’s mysteries if you stop to consider them. Veirs’ imagery is as captivating as her husky, cloudy voice and her sophisticated arrangements, which sometimes get alt-folky with acoustic guitar, banjo, piano and violin, and other times go pop in a ’70s Laurel Canyon kinda way while making room for jazz-tinged grooves and dabs of electronics.  -The Philadelphia Weekly

For folk singer Laura Veirs, inspiration for her newest album came from a simple box of peaches sitting on a table at a farmers’ market. The words “July Flame” written on a cardboard sign caught her eye, struck a chord and inspired her to write what she believes is her strongest album yet.

“You’ll notice, actually, if you look at varieties of peaches and apples and fruits, that they’re really cool creative names,” Veirs said. She went on to write a song and album titled after those July Flame peaches.

Veirs hopes that the stripped-down, summery album that will drop Jan. 12 will bring some sunshine to the cold winter months.  -The Pitt News

“Several songs are about trying to live in the moment and embrace life as it is now,” she says, “to treasure beauty when you encounter it because it is fleeting.

“I was exploring concepts of summer and night, love and war, and fire as both a healing and destructive force,” Veirs says. “I think we’re always struggling for things to be clear and known in our lives and relationships, but we have less control than we think.” – The Oregonian

“There’s something fascinating about Laura Veirs. As she performed on stage at Neumo’s last night, it was hard to look at anything but her.” – Seattle Weekly

“I kind of had a crisis of faith, to be honest,” she says. “I was writing so many songs that didn’t appeal to me. It was like they were boring to me on some level.”

When the dam finally broke, July Flame started coming in a rush.” – The Straight

Further examination of just what’s so compelling about Laura Viers doesn’t yield simple answers, given there is so much songcraft going on. Veirs’ voice almost always carries the heart of the melody, and the strength of it’s high register personality generally dominates at the center of the song, even at its quietest.  -Sound On Sound

Upon my first listen, I’m pretty sure I listened to the title track “July Flame” about ten consecutive times, though, I tend to be a bit obsessive over songs that I enjoy.  It’s truly a gorgeous album that I’m sure will find significant growth as 2010 grinds along.   -The Yellow Stereo

“Carol Kaye” on KCRW’s Top Tune today!

Today's Top Tune

We’re thrilled to have KCRW in our corner.  They were one of the first stations to spin from July Flame, and Laura is scheduled to play the influential Morning Becomes Eclectic in February.

Recently the Santa Monica based station made a special request to include “Carol Kaye”–an homage to the  So. Cal session bass player legend who played on countless top 40 hits–in their Today’s Top Tune podcast:

On her new record, July Flame, singer Laura Veirs pays tribute to Carol Kaye, a bassist who was part of a practically invisible band called the Wrecking Crew that backed everyone from The Beach Boys to Glen Campbell to Ray Charles and never got the attention they deserved. Today’s Top Tune features vocals from Jim James (My Morning Jacket/Monsters of Folk) and is lovingly titled “Carol Kaye“.

Stream and download at kcrw.org

Also Download via iTunes here.

Laura Veirs “Barn” Tour

Laura Veirs takes us on a tour of her “barn” where she writes, composes and rehearses. We are introduced to some of her instruments, her songbook and practice log, and The July Flame Songbook which can be purchased for a mere $7 $4.99 in the Raven Marching Band Shop

“July Flame” Receives Rave Lead Review in Uncut

“This is a vivid song cycle that’s part ecstasy, part sadness, and unfailingly lovely”, writes Rob Hughes.

Click to read the review and a Q&A with Laura, or better, pick up a copy of Uncut at your local finer magazine stand.


Laura Veirs “I Can See Your Tracks”

Today we feature a cross section of “I Can See Your Tracks” performances as a reminder that the clock is still ticking on the video contest.  And of course you can enjoy the album track in a FREE two track download simply by taking a test drive through Laura’s new Raven Marching Band Shop.

Performed at an intimate rehearsal show before the Fall tour with The Decemberists.


Live audio performance on Exit 97.7, WEXT Albany, NY:

“I Can See Your Tracks”

A great interview from WNRN Charlottesville, Virginia, while on tour with The Decemberists:


And finally a stripped down studio performance captured on video.


New Years Eve with Two Beers Veirs



Come celebrate the passing of another decade–seems like 1999 was just yesterday doesn’t it?–with the timeless old time music of Two Beers Veirs!

Reserve your tickets here.

The tradition continues with Two Beers Veirs and full band featuring Annalisa Tornfelt, Chris Funk, Nate Query and Tucker Martine with Lewi Longmire, Colin Meloy, Darrin Craig, Maggie Lind! NOTE: No one under 21 years old will be admitted.