Under Review

Laura Veirs

Carbonglacier

Nonesuch

Review By Robert Ferdman


This record lives up to its title. Carbon Glacier contains an album worth of material that, for the most part, tries to find warmth and feeling in the coldest of environments, and for the most part, accomplishes this task. Veirs’ honest and just plain real voice goes a long way in making you believe in her sincerity. The songwriting is great as well. “The Cloud Room”, with its soaring chorus, propulsive drum, and sparkling keyboard, is positively sublime. She also effectively evokes imagery and feeling through lyrics. “Snow Camping” does just that: “I saw the violet turn to night/I saw the water turn to ice/a thousand snowflakes hovered around me/the world aglow”. It all comes together in “Shadow Blues”, however, in which she describes her isolation from a relationship: “though I am dark ‘bout the ways of wanting/though I am dark, I’m still a child/gonna dig a coal mine, climb down deep inside/where my shadow’s got one place to go/one place to hide…” This, with an eerie vocal harmony contribution by one Karl Blau, makes this song utterly affecting, and the album’s harrowing centrepiece. Full of moments such as these, Carbon Glacier is a gorgeous album, best listened to on a cold, quiet night, many of which await us.