BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Laura Veirs isn’t your typically wispy singer/songwriter type. While it’s true she possesses the reticent vocal style of a forlorn folkie, her dramatic arrangements — courtesy of her hubby and veteran Portland producer Tucker Martine (who counts The Decemberists, R.E.M., My Morning Jacket, Beth Orton, Neko Case, and Mudhoney among his credits) — are anything but reserved. What they are, in fact, is a manic mélange of orchestrated ambiance, psychedelic suggestion and other avant-garde inclinations, one which takes these tunes to a higher level where repeated encounters are all but essential.
Likewise, many of these songs could be considered strictly cerebral, while others take a more emotional tone. “Shape Shifters,” “Ghosts of Louisville” and “Sadako Folding Cranes” qualify for the former, just as others, like “That Alice” and “Say Darlin’ Say,” exemplify the latter. Even then, the accessibility factor isn’t all that apparent. Yet that’s both the challenge and intrigue that Veirs commands. While the tunefulness of these tracks may not be so obvious — and in many cases, almost entirely elusive — she entices her listeners to peel back the layers and discover the shimmering glow that emanates from within.
That said, it goes without saying that Warp and Weft won’t appeal to everyone, what with the daunting array of tones and textures ratcheting up the complexity. Still, those that dare to delve in will find ample reward for their effort.
DOWNLOAD: “That Alice,” “Ghosts of Louisville,” “Say Darlin’ Say”