Here at Stereogum, we’ve been fans of Laura Veirs for quite a while. In fact, she was our very first Artist To Watch way back in 2004. And over the subsequent 14 years, Veirs has had a rich career, including 2016’s case/lang/veirs, her collaborative album with Neko Case and k.d. lang. At the end of January, Veirs announced her solo followup to that outing, The Lookout. It’s her first solo endeavor since 2013.
When Veirs announced the album, it came with lead single “Everybody Needs You” — a gorgeous, floaty piece that ranked as one of our favorite songs that week. That was followed by an autumnal, uptempo cut named “Watch Fire” that featured Veirs trading vocals with Sufjan Stevens. From there, we got a more meditative glimpse of The Lookout in the form of the slow-burner “Lightning Rod.”
And if you were a fan of those, there’s a lot more to appreciate on the rest of The Lookout. There’s the twilit, country-tinged “Seven Falls,” the spacious and contemplative ballad “The Meadow.” There’s tiny augmentations, like the strings on the title track or the Eastern tones of “When It Grows Darkest,” that allow the songs to unfold patiently and linger with you afterwards. Overall, it’s a collection of folk- and country-oriented rock that shows Veirs’ sharp focus for songwriting and arrangement, knowing when to let a song stay personable and conversational and knowing when to take a composition into gorgeous, otherworldly places. And you can hear the whole thing for yourself now over at NPR.
The Lookout is out 4/13 via Raven Marching Band Records. Pre-order it here.