Laura Veirs

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Laura Veirs
Laura Veirs.jpg
Veirs performing at Walter's on Washington, Houston, 2007
Background information
Birth nameLaura Pauline Veirs
Born (1973-10-24) October 24, 1973 (age 45)
Colorado Springs, Colorado
OriginPortland, Oregon
GenresFolk, chamber folk
Years active1999-present
LabelsRaven Marching Band Records, Nonesuch, Bella Union
Associated actsTucker Martine,
Raven Marching Band Records
MembersLaura Veirs

Laura Pauline Veirs (born October 24, 1973) is an American singer-songwriter. She is known for her folk/alternative country records and live performances.


Early life[edit]

Veirs was raised in Colorado. She studied geology and Mandarin Chinese at Carleton College, and worked as a translator for a geological expedition in China.[citation needed]

While growing up, she heard folk-country, classical, and pop music at home. However, she didn't "listen seriously," she says, until her 20s.[1] At Carleton, she joined an all-girl punk band called Rair Kx!.[2] After graduation, her taste moved to older country and folk, and during her time in China she began writing lyrics.[1]


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. She also signed to Bella Union for European distribution. Year of Meteors followed in August 2005, and was selected by the New York Times as a "critic's choice".[3]

Veirs released her last full-length for Nonesuch, Saltbreakers, in 2007. July Flame appeared in January 2010 on her own Raven Marching Band Records. The Washington Post praised it.[4]

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.[5] Tumble Bee won a Parents' Choice Award in 2012.[citation needed]

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".

In August 2013, she released Warp and Weft. In 2015, she worked on the album Carrie and Lowell by Sufjan Stevens. Veirs' husband and long term collaborator Tucker Martine engineered some of the album.

Veirs was lead songwriter[citation needed] for the 2016 album case/lang/veirs, a collaborative project between Veirs, k.d. lang and Neko Case. The album received positive reviews and a Metacritic rating of 82.[6][7]

In April 2018, she released her 10th studio album The Lookout on her own label Raven Marching Band in North American and Bella Union in the rest of the world. It is a concept album about the fragility of precious things. It features contributions from Sufjan Stevens, Jim James and was produced by Tucker Martine.

In January 2018, she launched a podcast, Midnight Lightning, about the lives of musician parents. The first season features weekly interviews with 14 mother musicians such as Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Carol Kaye (legendary bassist), Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens, Meshell Ndegeocello, Amanda Bergman (Swedish artist) and more.

Also in early 2018 Chronicle Books published her first picture book, Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten. It's a story about folk music legend Elizabeth Cotten (aka "Libba") and was illustrated by NYC-based artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Libba was a Junior Library Guild selection and received the Parents' Choice Award.

Personal life[edit]

Veirs currently lives in Portland, Oregon.[citation needed] Her husband, Portland-based producer Tucker Martine, has produced her last nine albums, and plays many instruments on the records as well. Their first son, Tennessee Veirs Martine, was born in April 2010. In May 2013 they had a second son, Oz Rhodes Martine.[8]

Raven Marching Band Records[edit]

Veirs runs a record label, Raven Marching Band Records, that has released her own and other artists' music. In 2016, the label released Introducing Karl Blau, which was crowdfunded.[9][10]


In 2007, Veirs said about her lyrics, "I like to be personal in my writing, but not overly confessional."[11]


Studio albums[edit]


Live albums[edit]

  • Lore of Ears (Kelp Monthly, 2004)




  1. ^ a b "Biography". Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  2. ^ Wheat, Mark (3 March 2010). "Laura Veirs performs in The Current studios". Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  3. ^ Pareles, Jon (22 August 2005). "Critic's Choice: New CD's; Year of Meteors; Laura Veirs". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Our Review". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  5. ^ "First Listen: Laura Veirs, 'Tumble Bee'". 30 October 2011.
  6. ^ "case lang veirs". Metacritic.
  7. ^ Betts, Stephen (May 9, 2016). "Hear Neko Case, kd lang and Laura Viers' Enchanting 'Delirium'". Rolling Stone.
  8. ^ Salmon, Ben (22 October 2010). "Laura Veirs, Weinland play Bend". The Bend Bulletin. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  9. ^ "New Album from Karl Blau: The Soul of Country". Kickstarter. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  10. ^ "The Lookout, by Laura Veirs". Laura Veirs. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Laura Veirs interview". 26 May 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  12. ^ Boilen, Bob (December 21, 2009). "Exclusive First Listen: Laura Veirs". Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  13. ^ "Laura Veirs - Bella Union". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  14. ^ Records, ANTI-. "Case / Lang / Veirs". Retrieved 16 April 2018.

External links[edit]