Laura Veirs: Found Light review – folk-rocker’s sexual reawakening

(Bella Union)
The Portland singer-songwriter’s first album written after splitting from her husband and longtime producer is a candid confessional filled with headily intimate images

The last album from Portlandian folk-rocker Laura Veirs, 2020’s My Echo, unconsciously charted the disintegration of her marriage: it was written prior to her split from husband and longtime producer Tucker Martine but released afterwards. Her twelfth record, however, features no such ambiguity. Between the references to sexual reawakening, pawning her wedding ring and reconnecting with her former self after a relationship that “crushed” her, Found Light is clearly the 48-year-old’s post-divorce album.

Found Light by Laura Veirs.
Found Light by Laura Veirs. Photograph: PR

Emotional upheaval aside, the breakup of her relationship also threw Veirs’ work into doubt: previously, Martine took full responsibility for production, and the singer-songwriter has spoken about her struggle to find the confidence to continue without him. Here, she co-produces alongside Shahzad Ismaily, and though the record is not sonically showy – in fact, Veirs’ appeal is mainly dependent on how charming you find a sweet melody sung in a slightly wobbly voice (personally: a lot) – there are points of interest: the running-themed Eucalyptus’s electronic beats that mimic an elevated heart rate; Naked Hymn’s plaintive sax that speaks to tentative, bittersweet sex.

Found Light’s lyrics, though, are hugely arresting. This self-portrait of a wounded yet gradually healing woman burns with candid disclosure. From the black socks that remain the “only thing left” on during a tryst, to T&O’s tear-jerking refrain – in which she tells her sons they are “the sunbeams of the house” – the record teems with understated but headily intimate images: the minutiae of a bruised mind, artfully distilled.


Rachel Aroesti

The GuardianTramp

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