Laura Veirs

Saturday, July 18

I first happened upon the phenomenal Portland-via-Seattle-via-Colorado songwriter Laura Veirs maybe four years ago, after she’d already released a couple of albums. But 2005’s dreamy, quirky, occasionally orchestral-poppy, sometimes biting Year of Meteors grabbed me and didn’t let go of my ears (or my CD player) for ages. Her voice struck me: Neither breathy sweet and sensual, nor cracked and desperate, hers is a dry, husky delivery, one that at first encounter seemed a bit glacial. Yet as the album progressed, a gamut of feelings punctured that curtain of detachment. And her lyrics, often referencing the natural world, were remarkable: All vivid imagery and the music of language tumbling together in stunning bits of poetry. Veirs’ 2007 follow-up, Saltbreakers, was equally alluring, bringing her even more national acclaim, and this impressive recent track record makes me especially excited to hear her forthcoming seventh full-length, July Flame. Veirs hasn’t announced a release date yet, but for this show she’s assembled an all-new quintet (who’ll be bringing strings, balalaika, and exotic percussion to augment the usual guitar-centric set-up), and she’s promising lots of brand-new material to go along with the old tunes that remain as arresting as the first time they burrowed into my head. With the Old Believers, Cataldo.

Sat., July 18, 8 p.m., 2009

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