A Seattle based folk musician, whose first four albums managed to completely pass me by, doing a loosely based concept album about travelling on the road doesnt't sound like much of a thing, but fear not. Laura Veirs is the girl who "put an enema into folk music" in the words of one critic.
For the first thing, whilst it is clearly allegorical in terms of the "travelling tales" idea, you wouldn't know it without deeper inspection of the lyrics. The setting is an eerie world, with unsuspected imagery drawing the listener in. Veirs sees the universe through a prism of eels, spiders, homing pigeons and snakes and yet I, for one, never sat back thinking "what the hell is she on about?"
Of course, all this may still be failling to convince anyone to whom "folk music" is a dirty phrase. Well be assured that "Galaxies" adds a layer of fuzzy guitars (that's the technical term you know) and synthesisers whilst "Black Gold Blues" turns out more like something the likes of Liz Phair or Sheryl Crow would come up with than a "folk musician".
But no matter what arrangements play behind her, its the voice that constantly grabs your attention. Constantly knowing, articulate and hauntingly beautiful throughout, always drawing the listener in deeper and deeper with each play.
Icon's View - 4 1/2 out of 5