July Flame

July Flame

by Laura VeirsLaura Veirs


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In some ways, July Flame might seem to mark a kind of scaling back for Laura Veirs. After a few years on Nonesuch, she has returned to the indie world, and where those Nonesuch releases found her pursuing a more band-oriented, rockish direction, this one harks back to Veirs' folkie beginnings; the arrangements are centered squarely around her own acoustic picking. That's not to imply that July Flame is any kind of step backwards, though; Veirs' producer/boyfriend, Tucker Martine, is still helping her to turn her visions into reality, as he has done since 2003's Troubled by the Fire, and there's a full complement of players supporting those visions here -- they're simply deployed in a more subtle manner. Veirs cut her regular band loose before the making of July Flame, mostly for logistical reasons, hence the change of direction. There are a couple of relatively rhythmic cuts here, like the title track, and the backbeat-driven "Summer is the Champion," whose pounding piano, '60s pop guitar, and horn punctuation evoke Sgt. Pepper's-era Beatles, but they are exceptions to the rule. When Veirs sings "I want nothing more than to float with you" on "Little Deschutes" (Deschutes is a county in her and Martine's home state of Oregon, in case you were wondering), it can be seen as both an emotional agenda and a musical mission statement. In terms of the latter, a number of tunes on July Flame seem to be rooted in -- if not overtly inspired by -- Veirs and Martine's state of romantic bliss, especially the dreamy "When You Give Your Heart." If their personal connection is anything like their musical one it's easy to understand why; Martine brings just the right touches to the tracks, with eerie backing vocals, coloristic percussion, and evocative strings popping up at just the right moments and then disappearing again when they're no longer needed. There are no wasted notes anywhere on July Flame, neither in Martine's production nor Veirs' tightly written (but still expressionistically poetic) compositions.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/12/2010
Label: Raven Marching Band
UPC: 0884501208369
catalogNumber: 6
Rank: 62864

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Laura Veirs   Primary Artist,Banjo,Bass,Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Tucker Martine   Percussion,Piano,Drums,Hand Clapping,Jaw Harp
Karl Blau   Organ,Bass,Harmonica,Piano,Electric Guitar,Saxophone,Vocals,Drones,Vocal Harmony
Eyvind Kang   Viola
Tracy Seeger   Violin
Ames Asbell   Viola
Sara Nelson   Cello
Nate Query   Upright Bass
Jim James   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Chris Funk   Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar,Autoharp,12-string Guitar
Leigh Mahoney   Violin
Steve Moore   Piano,Thumb Piano,Loops,Pump Organ,Wurlitzer,Casio,Lowry
Jon Neufeld   Electric Guitar
Victor Nash   Trumpet,Vibes
Annalisa Tornfelt   Vocal Harmony
Scott Magee   Bass Clarinet

Technical Credits

Stephen Barber   String Arrangements
Tucker Martine   Producer,Engineer
Arthur Rimbaud   Writer
Laura Veirs   Composer
Carson Ellis   Artwork
David Boyle   Engineer

Customer Reviews

July Flame 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago