Laura Veirs: The Lookout (Raven Marching Band) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, May 28th, 2024  

Laura Veirs

The Lookout

Raven Marching Band

Apr 10, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

So prolific has Laura Veirs been over the past two decades, it’s easy to forget the last solo album came five years back, although that hasn’t stopped her working. Two years ago, she was forming a supergroup with k.d. lang and Neko Case, and before that she was helping Sufjan Stevens with Carrie and Lowell.

He returns the favor on The Lookout, singing on “Watch Fire,” a charming track indicative of much of Veirs’ tenth record. There’s the gentle acoustic guitar lead off, joined by rolling percussion and Veirs’ softly searing voice. Some tracks come in harder, some leave a lighter footprint; all remain in keeping with the path weaved throughout her career.

The Lookout certainly offers nothing that can’t be immediately pegged as a Laura Veirs track. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The joy of returning to an artist like Veirs comes in the subtle variation. There isn’t much of that initially. The first half is pleasant enough without moving beyond background folk. Opener “Margaret Sands” epitomizes this. But just when it seems like we’re in high quality coffee shop territory, things take a turn.

“Lightning Rod,” using kids’ voices as backing, strikes a confessional feeling while “When It Grows Darkest” develops into a mini-epic, soaring on strings. Then there’s “The Meadow,” riding piano and multi-tracked voices to a haunting conclusion.

Along the way Veirs is found singing “we knew it wouldn’t last/it was beautiful,” an apt description for this deceptively moving work. (

Author rating: 7/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 8/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.