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First Play: Laura Veirs, The Lookout

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Holly Gordon

We last heard Laura Veirs’ voice alongside those of k.d. lang and Neko Case as one-third of case/lang/veirs, a collaborative project through which the three artists released a stunning self-titled album in summer 2016.

Two years later, Veirs is releasing her 10th solo album, The Lookout, which she’s calling a concept album about “the fragility of precious things.”

Produced by frequent collaborator (and husband) Tucker Martine, who recently worked on First Aid Kit’s newest album, The Lookout is made up of one year’s worth of daily songwriting from Veirs’ attic studio in Portland, Ore. An album of delicate and confident folk-pop songs, The Lookout is rooted in nature through Veirs’ impeccable songwriting, as the singer draws from the political turmoil of the last couple of years.

The Lookout is about the need to pay attention to the fleeting beauty of life and to not be complacent; it’s about the importance of looking out for each other,” said Veirs in a statement. “I’m addressing what’s happening around me with the chaos of post-election America, the racial divides in our country, and a personal reckoning with the realities of midlife: I have friends who’ve died; I struggle with how to balance life as an artist with parenting young children.”

Sufjan Stevens sings on standout track “Watch Fire” — Veirs sang on Stevens’ last album, Carrie & Lowell — and you’ll hear My Morning Jacket’s Jim James on the album, too. Veirs recorded The Lookout with musicians Karl Blau, Steve Moore, Eli Moore, Eyvind Kang and Martine.

Preview The Lookout one week before its release in our player above, and pre-order it via Veirs’ label Raven Marching Band Records. It will be released April 13.


case/lang/veirs: track-by-track guide

Life lessons: Neko Case, k.d. lang, Laura Veirs

k.d. lang plays Jam or Not a Jam