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Seattle singer/songwriter Laura Veirs sings personal songs of romantic intoxication, everyday vignettes, and occasional social commentary that are often heavy on introspection and intense character scrutiny. Her vocals and melodies rapidly shift and veer, true to her name, up and down her wide vocal range. She put out her own self-titled CD, recorded live and featuring just her and guitar, in 1999. Though she went to the studio for her next album, The Triumphs & Travails of Orphan Mae, it too was self-released (though it saw greater distribution after British label Bella Union decided to reissue it in 2005). 2003 brought the release of Troubled by the Fire, a full-band effort that found the artist sharing the studio with such luminaries as Bill Frisell, Amy Denio, and Fred Chalenor. She signed to Nonesuch the following year and recorded the atmospheric Carbon Glacier, followed by Year of Meteors in August of 2005 and Saltbreakers in 2007. Veirs returned to her folk-leaning roots with 2010's July Flame and switched gears again the following year with Tumble Bee, drawing on the American songbook to create her first-ever children's record.
Laura Pauline Veirs (born October 24, 1973) is an American singer-songwriter.
Veirs was raised in Colorado, studied geology and Mandarin Chinese at Carleton College, worked as a translator for a geological expedition in China, and now lives in Portland, Oregon.
While growing up, she heard folk-country, classical, and pop music at home. However, she didn't "listen seriously," she says, until her 20s. At Carleton, she joined an all-girl punk band called Rair Kx!. After graduation, her taste moved to older country and folk, and during her time in China she began writing lyrics.
In 1999, Veirs released a self-titled album, which was recorded live and featuring just herself and guitar. 2003 saw the release of Troubled by the Fire, accompanied by veteran musicians such as Bill Frisell. She then signed to Nonesuch and released Carbon Glacier. Year of Meteors followed in August 2005.
Year of Meteors was selected by the New York Times as a "critics choice". Veirs released Saltbreakers in 2007. July Flame appeared in January 2010 on her Raven Marching band label. The Washington Post praised it.
Portland-based producer/husband Tucker Martine has produced her last seven albums, and plays many instruments on the records as well. Their son, Tennessee Veirs Martine, was born in April 2010.
In November 2011, Veirs released the album Tumble Bee: Laura Veirs Sings Folk Songs For Children. The album presents mostly traditional songs, and features an array of guest musicians, including Colin Meloy, Jim James, and Bela Fleck. Tumble Bee won a Parents' Choice Award in 2012.
In September 2012 her first feature film soundtrack was released: Hello I Must Be Going. The exclusive soundtrack features eight instrumental versions of previously released songs, five catalog favorites, and one new vocal track, Spring Song.