Thursday, April 26, 2007

In House #1857: Laura Veirs' Saltbreakers; Richard Swift in Salt Lake City This Weekend

It's been a busy four years or so for Laura Veirs. The singer-songwriter has released three excellently-crafted and well-received albums, each more high profile than the last, toured exhaustively in their support, endured a failed relationship (which is well-documented in her new material), and made the move from Seattle to Portland. Of course, it's just such a schedule that has allowed her to go so far so quickly as she has organically grown her fan-base one at a time. Her latest effort, Saltbreakers, is also the third album with her current backing band (also called, you guessed it, The Saltbreakers), and a lineup that includes Tucker Martine, who also produced the album. Understandably, the band is close and it tends to come through in the music as they flesh out Veirs' whip-smart songs to great effect. Most impressive on the new release are the instances of new sonic exploration, sounding far more removed from 2005's Year of Meteors than a mere two years. "To the Country," features Veirs' ghostly call and response with the Cedar Hill Choir, with flourishes of solo fiddle further removing the song from Veirs' past repertoire. Elsewhere, "Phantom Mountain," rocks out like she never has before, adding garage-fuzz guitars and bombast. Following a string of European dates, Veirs begins a US tour May 8th in Chicago.

Also today, music from Richard Swift, who plays Kilby Court in Salt Lake City this Saturday night in what will be his final U.S. performance before he heads to the U.K. for a series of dates in early June. As his sound indicates, Swift is a true throwback, a pure pop songwriter that finds common ground amongst the likes of Paul McCartney (the good, 70's, songwriting version) and Tom Waits, among other artists of yesteryear. Maybe it's that circular taste thing working, but he somehow channels those retro leanings into a finished product that sounds entirely fresh and intriguing. Not one to be pigeon-holed into one decade, Swift broke ground on the 1980's earlier this year when his version of Prince's "Paisley Park," appeared as the B-side to his "Kisses For the Misses" single. His most recent full-length is this year's excellent Dressed Up For the Letdown.

In House #1857.

Airdate: 4/26/07
Focus: New release from Laura Veirs, Saltbreakers, plus Richard Swift plays Salt Lake City this weekend. Also, new music from Elliott Smith, Chrisopher Blue, Winterpills, Andrew Bird, and more.

Laura Veirs, from Saltbreakers:
  • "Saltbreakers" (MP3)

    Richard Swift, from The Novelist/Walking Without Effort:
  • "As I Go" (MP3)
    ...from the Kisses For the Misses 7":
  • "Paisley Park" (MP3) (Prince cover)

    Elliott Smith, from New Moon (due 5/8):
  • "Pretty Mary K (Other Version)" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #300

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