Laura Veirs Unveils Tenth Studio Album, The Lookout

Music News Laura Veirs
Share Tweet Submit Pin
Laura Veirs Unveils Tenth Studio Album, <i>The Lookout</i>

Portland folk songstress and longtime Paste favorite Laura Veirs has announced her tenth solo full-length album today, The Lookout, out April 13 via Raven Marching Band Records. Also revealed: North American and European tour dates, along with the official video for lead single “Everybody Needs You,” which you can view below.

The album is the first solo Veirs effort since 2013’s ethereal Warp and Weft, which felt akin to a second part of the musical ground she was exploring in 2010’s July Flame. It also apparently served to musically introduce her to Neko Case, who memorably appears as a guest vocalist on “Sun Song.” One can see how those conversations probably played into the most recent Veirs effort, 2016’s case/lang/veirs, a collaboration album with Case and k.d. lang.

Judging from the above video, it seems as if The Lookout may represent a pivot point for Veirs, some 20 years into her performing career. We’re hearing more electronic influences at play here than in the past; a complex, layered sound with a greater veneer of production, in which the singer’s voice is pushed back a little bit in terms of primacy. Of course, it’s hard to tell from a single track, but it’s an interesting choice of lead single, and intriguing to see Veirs exploring some new ground. Also, it looks like we’re getting some cameos from Paste heavyweights in the form of guest vocals from Sufjan Stevens and Jim James. The label’s press release describes the album thusly:

Here is a batch of inimitable, churning, exquisite folk-pop songs; a concept album about the fragility of precious things. Produced by Grammy-nominated Tucker Martine, Veirs’ longtime collaborator, The Lookout is a soundtrack for turbulent times, full of allusions to protectors: the camper stoking a watch fire, a mother tending her children, a sailor in a crow’s nest and a lightning rod channeling energy.

Says Veirs: “The Lookout is about the need to pay attention to the fleeting beauty of life and to not be complacent; it’s about the importance of looking out for each other. I’m addressing what’s happening around me with the chaos of post-election America, the racial divides in our country, and a personal reckoning with the realities of midlife: I have friends who’ve died; I struggle with how to balance life as an artist with parenting young children.”

Check out the tracklist for The Lookout below, followed by a short run of North American tour dates, followed by European ones.

The Lookout track list:

1. Margaret Sands
2. Everybody Needs You
3. Seven Falls
4. Mountains of the Moon
5. Watch Fire
6. Heavy Petals
7. The Lookout
8. The Meadow
9. The Canyon
10. Lightning Rod
11. When It Grows Darkest
12. Zozobra

Laura Veirs tour dates

May

18 – Seattle, WA @ Fremont Abby
19 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
21 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
22 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
25 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East (upstairs)
26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
27 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage
29 – Paris, FR @ Le Café de la Danse
30 – Brussels, BE @ Ancienne Belgique (upstairs)
31 – Amsterdam, NE @ Bitterzoet

June

2 – Sheffield, UK @ The HUBs
3 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Brudenell Social Club
4 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK @ The Cluny
5 – Glasgow, SCT @ Oran Mor
6 – Manchester, UK @ The Deaf Institute
8 – London, UK @ Union Chapel
9 – Cardiff, WAL @ Church of St. John the Evangelist
10 – Bristol, UK @ The Thekla
11 – Brighton, East Sussex, UK @ The Komedia

Also in Music