I first happened upon the phenomenal Portland-via-Seattle-via-Colorado songwriter Laura Veirs maybe four years ago, after shed already released a couple of albums. But 2005s dreamy, quirky, occasionally orchestral-poppy, sometimes biting Year of Meteors grabbed me and didnt 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 hasnt announced a release date yet, but for this show shes assembled an all-new quintet (wholl be bringing strings, balalaika, and exotic percussion to augment the usual guitar-centric set-up), and shes 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