A Fingertips favorite from the earliest days, Portland-based Laura Veirs has been making wonderful, left-of-center singer/songwriter music since the dawn of the 21st century—since 1999, in fact, to be accurate. Probably most well-known in the wider world for her collaboration with Neko Case and k.d. lang on the 2016 album case/lang/veirs, Veirs held her own there with two powerhouse singers, because what she may lack in vocal brawn she more than makes up for with warmhearted presence.
“Everybody Needs You,” the second track on Veirs’ new album, The Lookout, springs to a rhythmic 4/4 groove, with a melody that feels at once syncopated and steady, lyrics a series of separated declarations over a starry, organic-sounding blend of acoustic and electronic sounds. Her voice is so friendly and nonchalant that you may not end up noticing that what she’s saying makes no sense that I can discern—that is, I can make out the words, most of them, but they don’t add up to something understandable. But, in a weird way, this somehow renders the song’s central, repeated message all the more poignant: “Everybody needs you”—no matter who you are or what you think you’re up to or whether we even understand you or not.
The Lookout is Veirs’ tenth solo album, including one of children’s songs. It was once again produced by Tucker Martine, who happens also to be her husband. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to her many offerings, allow me to suggest 2010’s July Flame or 2004’s Carbon Glacier.
MP3 via KEXP.