Following excellent reviews for her new album My Echo, out now on Bella Union, Laura Veirs shares a mesmerising video “Freedom Feeling”, the LP’s sublime opening track.
Of the video, which stars and is choreographed by aerial hoop dancer Story Lowe, Veirs says: “About a year ago I was hanging out at the lodge at Breitenbush Hot Springs in the Oregon mountains and a woman came up and said hi. Turns out we had met many years ago a couple of times through our exes. The woman’s name was Molly. Molly’s daughter was there, too, and we got to talking. Her name is Story Lowe and she’s a 14-year-old aerial hoop dancer and choreographer. I had been thinking at that time about a video that incorporated hoop dancing so we exchanged numbers. A few months later I chose my song “Freedom Feeling” for this treatment and Story took on the challenge of working on this piece. She worked for the entire summer of 2020 under lockdown, spinning safely at her community studio in Bellingham, WA. Portland. Filmmaker Devin Febbroriello drove to Bellingham and filmed this in November 2020. After editing the choreography Devin added some dreamy coloured overlays. I love how this video turned out! Thanks to all who made it happen, especially Story, who threw her heart, soul and body into it.”
“My Echo is my 11th solo album. It’s my ‘my songs knew I was getting divorced before I did’ album. My conscious mind was trying as hard as I could to keep my family together but my subconscious mind was working on the difficult struggles in my marital life. I was part of a “Secret Poetry Group” that met and wrote poems monthly for a year during the writing of this record. Many of my poems turned into songs for this album. By the time the album was being mixed last fall, my ex-husband/producer Tucker Martine and I had decided to go our separate ways. We were a great musical team for many years but we struggled to be compatible in our marriage and family life and that struggle is reflected in this album.
In this new batch of songs I imagine escaping from some sort of prison or cage. Advancing age, the confines of domesticity, our oppressive government and the threat of the apocalypse permeate these songs. In these songs my heart craves certainty and permanence but none is to be found. It’s an album about disintegration. It reveals my artist’s intuition at work.
Although these songs were written before quarantine they are strangely relevant to times in which we find ourselves currently. You will find me staring at the walls (Turquoise Walls). You will find me feeling grateful to be alive (Memaloose Island). You will find me accepting the ephemeral nature of life (Vapor Trails and All the Things). You will find me searching for personal freedom while feeling trapped (Freedom Feeling). You will find me trying to accept that sometimes the best thing to do is to sit still and do nothing at all (Another Space and Time).
Produced by Tucker Martine in the summer and fall of 2019. My Echo features guest appearances from Jim James, Bill Frisell, Karl Blau, Matt Ward and others.”
Acclaim for My Echo:
“The author of some of the most insightful songs in the modern country-folk canon. ‘Another Space and Time’, which uses stings and a bossa nova beat in its pondering of other realities, and ‘End Times’, with its lilting, Sunday-school piano, are just two opportunities to swoon.” Uncut – 9/10
“It’s gorgeous… The 10 songs drift between intimacy and rich instrumentation. Among the many highlights are the lovely I Sing To The Tall Man and Freedom Feeling, where Veirs’ intimate voice and guitar morph into something so lush and bright it feels like somebody switched the sky on.” MOJO – 4 stars ****
“Poignant, cathartic, consistently brilliant… Veirs is one of the greatest American songwriters.” The New Stateman
“Laura Veirs sings with serene grace and clarity. Her voice is pure and clear. It soothes and beguiles.” Financial Times – 4 stars ****
“As breakup albums go, it is surprisingly positive… ‘Turquoise Walls’ is a shiny marvel while ‘Freedom Feeling’ encapsulates hope for a better future.” Sunday Times
Watch the video for ‘Freedom Feeling’ here: