Two years after My Echo, her vulnerable pre-divorce album Laura Veirs returns with a fresh start on Found Light. Her ex-husband & producer Tucker Martine is now gone from her music, and consequently you can hear an exhalation of sorts throughout the record.
Sharing production duties herself with Shahzad Ismaily the sound leans towards the experimental indie folk fragility of Joanna Newsom and even Fiona Apple at times. The tighter song structures and polished production of her past have been shaken off with interesting results.
We start with Autumn Song, which is about beginning again, her wish to be free and to be loved. The simplicity of the song’s structure expands sweetly with echoing background vocals from This is the Kit’s Kate Stables.
From here we have the literal casting away of her past on ‘Ring Song’, where she sells her wedding ring and embraces the paradoxical freedom she’s found in her broken heart.
‘Seaside Haiku’ begins with quiet poetry and builds into a jagged, note to self reminder to ‘give but don’t give too much.’ An artistic statement of intent and a reminder to the listener that we are privileged guests inside the musical life of this artist.
After that moment of reflection she then begins to share some of more intimate snapshots of her the light she has found at the other side of her divorce. On ‘Naked Hymn’ her sexuality is reawakened after what she calls a ‘drought’. ‘Time Will Show You’ continues the honest exploration of her dating life, a new adventurous phase she sounds happy to be living in.
The positivity of her outlook is clear, even though she has clearly wrestled with despair too. ‘My Lantern’ celebrates someone giving her hope and light for the future. ‘Can’t Help But Sing’ explores the conflict between her suffering and her need to sing. She admits to having a bitter and cold heart but music remains an inescapable place of joy.
‘Eucalyptus’ begins with the sounds of a waterfall, before a bubbling beat takes us on a morning run outside where she thinks about her old life, and openly addresses her ex-husband with the admission ‘you crushed me’.
On ‘New Arms’ she turns that devastation into an opportunity for embracing someone and ‘Sword Song’ transforms a weapon into a flower, aiming for beauty in her new life and music.
‘T & O’ is more simple in its arrangement, a love song for her children. The instrumental interlude ‘Komorebi’ takes us into the final track ‘Winter Windows’, where she rocks out musically and sings about taking back the power in her life.
The freedom feeling she was once searching for is in evidence throughout these songs. Laura Veirs emerges from her mid-life shadow into the spotlight with renewed confidence and conviction.