Release Date: Mar 27, 2007
Record label: Nonesuch
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Singer-Songwriter
Veirs has changed the name of her band since her last album. The three longtime sidekicks who used to be known as the Tortured Souls are now called Saltbreakers, like this album. It makes sense, given the buoyancy of the Colorado singer-songwriter's more recent material and her fascination with nature. The album takes a middle ground between the skewed spookiness of Carbon Glacier and the expansive art-rock of its follow-up, Year of Meteors; some songs are hypnotic nu-folk (Nightingale), while others rock out (Phantom Mountain).
Literate folk-inflected indie rocker Laura Veirs' third record is full of enough emotional peaks and valleys to satisfy even the most temperamental music fan. Upon first listen, Saltbreakers feels significantly less chilly than 2005's sparse Year of Meteors, but further spins reveal a dark core that radiates warmth only intermittently. Part of this can be attributed to Veirs' masterful way with imagery, a talent that she employs incrementally with each and every release.
“Sorry I was cold, I was protecting myself,” Laura Veirs begins, the first line in the first song (“Pink Light”) of her sixth luminous album, in a voice that is clear and pure and vibrato-free with just the hint of a child’s blurry vulnerability at the edges. It sounds personal, confessional, unadorned and yet with the next line the verse turns fancifully metaphoric. “Drifting along with my swords out flying /Tattering my own sails and I tattered yours, too.” It is the first in a salvo of 12 episodes of songwriterly magical realism, set in tidal pools and seagoing vessels and populated with pirates and mermaids and sentient forest fires.