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Veirs, Laura / July Flame
Album:July Flame Collection:General
Artist:Veirs, Laura Added:01/2010
Label:Raven Marching Band Records 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2010-01-17 Pull Date:2010-03-21 
Week Ending:14 Mar7 Mar28 Feb21 Feb14 Feb7 Feb31 Jan24 Jan
Airplays:14227215

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Album Review
ROX
Reviewed 2010-01-17 
Genre: Indie-Folk/Rock

Laura’s guitar/banjo picking engages the listener with sublime craft. Her nuanced range of extended and shortened vocal articulations is beautiful and often rivals the captivating potential of the instrumentation. Her lyrics remedy the tradition of transcendentalist writers—as she uses natural settings, astronomy and geology to describe the emotional struggle of our transient realities—particularly the “coming and going” of summer and the tangibility of love. This album is produced by long-time collaborator Tucker Martine (Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, Laura Gibson), and possesses a perfect blend and balance of viola, bass, piano, percussion, banjo, acoustic and electric guitar. Three songs feature string quartet arrangements by the famous composer Stephen Barber. Chris Funk (The Decemberists) and Jim James (My Morning Jacket) also contribute instrumentally and vocally. This is the first “indie-folk” record I have heard in a long time that is not too monotonously minimalist or overwhelmingly scattered with random sprays of bells and chimes and sugary synth-cuts. It is Laura’s 7th and possibly best album yet and I encourage you to play everything…no really! But I guess beginners should start with 2, 1, 12, 11

Track Descriptions (NO FCCs):
1. I Can See Your Tracks (2:58)—fast paced finger picking during verse, strumming during chorus, high held long vocal notes with atmospheric harmonizing background vocals
2. July Flame (3:46)—pulsing base layered by electric guitar setting the rhythm, strong vox and then drums join after one measure, crescendo build with conjoining background vocals and rapid strings in repetition.
3. Sun is King (3:20)—quiet and warm percussion, lap steel guitar, subtle banjo picking, country/daydreaming vibe, medium-slow tempo
4. Where Are You Driving (2:53)—stars with electric keyboard effect that drops down into a delicate banjo picking ballad that builds instrumentally with strings and piano, beautiful chorus.
5. Life is Good Blues (2:36). Layers of acoustic guitar picking, elaborate vocals joined by male vox in chorus, during bridge instruments drop down a bit, and Laura is joined by an a-capella style “ba-ba-ba”.
6. Silo Song (2:40). Electric/acoustic guitar layers, bass and percussion push song from stasis, strings during bridge.
7. Little Deschutes (4:07). Starts with strings, followed by piano, quieter melancholic tune, cool effect on vox during chorus.
8. Summer is the Champion (4:25). Bouncy guitar, follow by a fuller-sound, rhythm-keeping kick-drum, piano, fun song.
9. When You Give your Heart (3:05). Fast-happy acoustic guitar picking, chorus is romantic and unexpected with strings that trace her vocal harmonies
10. Sleeper in the Valley (4:03). Darker tune, minor chord progression, high-pitched vocals
11. Wide-Eyed, Legless (2:36). Fast paced, guitar/banjo, atmospheric electric guitar, very catchy chorus
12. Carol Kaye (3:20). Starts with pure atmosphere a-capella male vocals by Jim James, this mutes and drops into happy fast-paced guitar picking, chorus is long held vocals notes.
13 . Make Something Good (4:14). Softer, slower minimalist piano song with layers of strings and effects, male vox joins after first verse, reminiscent of PJ Harvey’s White Chalk.


Track Listing
1.I Can See Your Tracks 7.Little Deschutes
2.July Flame 8.Summer Is The Champion
3.Sun Is King 9.When You Give Your Heart
4.Where Are You Dying? 10.Sleeper In The Valley
5.Life Is Good Blues 11.Wide-Eyed, Legless
6.Silo Song 12.Carol Kaye
 13.Make Something Good