Review: Laura Veirs – Warp And Weft

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Laura Veirs’ 9th studio album to date, Warp And Weft, consists of 12 tracks, all somehow intertwining in their sound to create what is a rather spellbinding offering overall. This seems appropriate, considering the album takes its name from a weaving term. And the creativity doesn’t stop there; every ‘real’ copy of Warp And Weft comes complete with the template for an origami crane. What more could you want?

The origami, and Sadako Folding Cranes, refers to the true story of a girl affected by the bombing of Hiroshima. Inspired by Japanese legend, she sought to make 1000 paper cranes so as to be granted a wish by the gods. The tone of Sadako Folding Cranes reflects the heartbreaking nature of this tale, and provides an ideal backdrop for Veirs’ musing over ‘memories aplenty’. In the remainder of Warp And Weft, she continues to touch on tender subjects like motherhood and darkness, over incredibly powerful undertones of electric guitar, making this an album which is haunting, to say the least.

I do however have one qualm with Warp And Weft. For all its beauty, there are moments when it becomes a little too dull to listen to comfortably. It begins remarkably well, with Sun Song, which I would file next to something First Aid Kit might produce and sounds incredibly fresh. From then on too many of its tracks lack what, for me, is necessary to make a song enjoyable. I’m all for a slower song or two but Veirs seems to substitute melody and rhythm leaving a rather unsatisfactory result. There is some saving grace in Shape Shifter and Finister Saw The Angels (in which Veirs features with little accompaniment to produce a somewhat cosy-sounding number), as well as a few other tracks later on, but there is little to be found that is particularly noteworthy.

Flossie Wildblood