Laura’s Made Something Good

Falling in love with a record is like falling in love with a beautiful woman. With some records, you’re instantly smitten within the first few bars. Others, they initially underwhelm before slowly taking hold in your soul, and before you know it, you’re constantly listening to them and (if you’re musically minded) trying to download tabs from the Interwebz so you can cack-handedly play along.

Laura Veirs’ “July Flame” has been the latter. First time I heard it, I was left thinking it was perfectly pleasant, and filed it on the “give it another try later” drawer before quickly forgetting all about it. Reminded of the record by seeing a flyer for her London gigs I decided to give it another go, and how glad am I now, eh? From the delicate, charming opener “I Can See Your Tracks”, through easygoing, pedal-steel touched marvels such as “Sun Is King”, this album is a gem. It sparkles like an unexpected shard of muscovite mica in a slab of gabbro1. That chord progression in “When You Give Your Heart” is enough to make the hardest heart melt like a ball of ice dropped into a pool of lava.

What’s better is that reviews and comments about this album have mostly been along the lines of “Well, it’s good, but not as good as some of her previous records”. For the uninitiated, this is like finding a geode inside an otherwise unremarkable rock. Ok, enough of the geology metaphors. But the feeling still stands; for people like me for whom there just aren’t enough hours in the day to find and listen to new stuff, finally uncovering a musician’s work after years of ignoring them and realising they are fantastic is a wonder beyond mere words.

July Flame is out on the ever-reliable Bella Union records and is available for purchase here. If, like me, you’re unitiated in her dreamy world, I’d suggest you take a dip now.

1 Which, as any geologist would tell you, would be very unexpected indeed.

MP3: I Can See Your Tracks by Laura Veirs