Laura Veirs discusses 10 influences on new album ‘Found Light’
Laura Veirs has proven herself a soft-spoken powerhouse in her decades-long career. Her newest album Found Light sees her exploring a newfound independence following the 2019 divorce from her longtime producer and husband. To be sure, it is not a divorce album. Laura set out to prove that her music could speak for itself, and that she had it in her to craft a distinct sound without the collaborator she could no longer lean on. The resulting project, co-produced by Veirs and Shahzad Ismaily, is as raw and intimate as it is ambitious and experimental. It's a meditation on being untethered--haunting, sometimes lonely, and quite spiritual. Found Light is full of the modern folk that Laura has mastered across her 12 studio albums, and dabbles in grunge and electronic sounds.
LAURA VEIRS - 10 INFLUENCES BEHIND 'FOUND LIGHT'
1. All About Love by bell hooks
hooks's thinking on love was helpful as I was pondering all kinds of love during the writing of this album. I thought and wrote a lot about self-love, about community love and love of and for children on this album, as opposed to only writing about romantic love.
2. Shore by Fleet Foxes
I love this album and how Robin plays around with making messes. I like how in places he sings different words over the same melody at the same time. I like how instruments go in and out of time. I made more messes on my album (in a controlled chaos kind of way) because of this.
3. A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solint
I love Rebecca’s writing and have read many of her books. I was feeling very lost when writing my new album so I enjoyed reading her perspectives on the passage of time and of the intentionality of getting lost in order to find oneself.
4. The Glow, Pt. 2 by The Microphones
I love how Phil goes from clean and pretty to intensely dirty on his songs on this album. I also love his mix of soft nylon string guitar and singing with loud distortion, drums and other heavy elements. This album influenced the treatments on my song “Seaside Haiku.”
5. Black Lives Matter protestors in Portland in 2020
Portland had the longest-running string of BLM protests after George Floyd’s murder in 2020. I was in the streets for many of the protests and felt a lot of pride in the passion of the people leading and participating in the protests day after day and night after night despite being physically harmed by the police and by counter protestors. Their passion was a beacon and continues to be. I wrote “My Lantern” for and about them.
6. My kids Tennessee and Oz
I wrote “T and O” for them. I had recorded it years before as a demo but decided to make a real recording of it for this album. They went through a lot when their dad and I divorced (including the pandemic right after our divorce) so I wanted to be clear to them in an artistic piece about how much I love them.
7. Songs by Adrianne Lenker
Adrianne inspires me to be brave and vulnerable in my lyrics and to keep some songs very sparse. I was also inspired to go for live vocal and guitar takes in the studio to get a natural, human sound with mistakes and glitches included this time instead of buffed off.
8. Process by Sampha
I love how Sampha spans styles and approaches on his recordings. This inspired me to be more free on my new album. I love how an acoustic song like “No One Knows Me Like the Piano” contrasts to the electronic treatments on a song like “Plastic 100 degrees C.”
9. Worotan by Oumou Sangaré
I love her use of polyrhythms and percussion and I love her passionate singing. We referenced both when recording.
10. Off Off On by This is the Kit
I listened to Kate’s song “This is What You Did” about a million times on repeat before making my new album. The song gives me such good energy. I love the quirky “off” feel of the vocals in the chorus. It was a real honor to have Kate sing a duet with me on “Autumn Song,” the first track on my new album.
Laura Veirs is touring the UK and US this month, closing with a show on July 28 at Public Records in Brooklyn. Tickets are still available. All dates below.
Laura Veirs -- 2022 Tour Dates
JUN 9 THU Norwich Arts Centre @ Norwich, UK
JUN 10 FRI Bodega @ Nottingham, UK
JUN 11 SAT Storey's Field Centre @ Cambridge, UK
JUN 12 SUN Hare & Hounds @ Birmingham, UK
JUN 14 TUE Civic Theatre @ Gosforth, UK
JUN 15 WED Artiscience Library @ Edinburgh, UK
JUN 16 THU Stereo @ Glasgow, UK
JUN 18 SAT Belgrave Music Hall @ Leeds, UK
JUN 19 SUN Deaf Institute @ Manchester, UK
JUN 21 TUE Pentyrch @ Acapela Studios @ Cardiff, UK
JUN 22 WED Thekla @ Bristol, UK
JUN 23 THU Exeter Phoenix @ Exeter, UK
JUN 27 MON Wedgewood Rooms @ Southsea, UK
JUN 28 TUE Boileroom @ Guildford, UK
JUN 29 WED Komedia @ Brighton, UK
JUN 30 THU Union Chapel @ London, UK
JUL 16 SAT Chicago, IL @ Old Town School of Folk Music @ Chicago, IL
JUL 17 SUN Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark @ Ann Arbor, MI
JUL 18 MON Toronto, ON @ The Drake @ Toronto, ON, Canada
JUL 20 WED Portland, ME @ One Longfellow Square @ Portland, ME
JUL 21 THU Newport, RI @ Newport Vineyards @ Middletown, RI
JUL 22 FRI Boston, MA @ Haymarket Lounge @ Boston, MA
JUL 23 SAT Exeter, NH @ The Word Barn @ Exeter, NH
JUL 24 SUN Northampton, MA @ The Parlor Room @ Northampton, MA
JUL 26 TUE Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live @ Philadelphia, PA
JUL 27 WED Washington DC @ Union Stage (seated) @ Washington, DC
JUL 28 THU New York, NY @ Public Records @ Brooklyn, NY