Laura Veirs, Warp and Weft

Hilary Saunders

By Hilary Saunders

on 08.20.13 in Reviews

The warp and weft, the two over-under types of knitting technique, take special narrative direction on Portland-based songstress Laura Veirs’s new album. Veirs recorded Warp and Weft while she was eight months pregnant with her second child, and her husband and longtime collaborator Tucker Martine later produced the 12-track release. As such, themes of love and loss, protection and ultimate surrender weave their way throughout Warp and Weft, with Veirs’s own motherhood experiences serving as the connecting thread on her ninth LP.

A needlepoint-precise portrait of modern Americana

The album’s songs are both surprisingly realistic — paying homage to real personas like Hiroshima survivor Sadako Sasaki, jazz harpist Alice Coltrane, and folk artist/minister Howard Finster — and utterly fanciful. Musical guests include members of My Morning Jacket and The Decemberists, as well as kd lang and Neko Case, all of whom add welcome musical texture to Veirs’s already-established progressive folk palate and ultimately helps fashion Warp and Weft‘s needlepoint-precise portrait of modern Americana.