Music » Livewire

Laura Veirs and the Tortured Souls

With Aloha, Karl Blau, and Tall Pines. Sunday, May 20, at the Grog Shop.

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If you're as unfamiliar with Laura Veirs as the rest of America is, even after her last two albums became nearly unanimous critical sweethearts, download "Magnetize" and meet one of music's best young writers.

The fourth track from 2005's Year of Meteors, "Magnetize" finds Veirs in top form, singing the praises of a potential paramour through a simple thumb-fingered-bass/ring-fingered-melody acoustic guitar line, piano and strings arriving later to lift the nascent love to its apropriate climax. As melody marries mirth and mood, Veirs constructs penetrating images of a lover with "olivine eyes" and "zirconium smiles."

Veirs earned a geology degree in Colorado before moving to Seattle in the late '90s and deciding that music was her calling. In her songs she offers life lessons through clever, unorthodox analogies to spelunking, the distance-mass properties of gravity, and the physics-bending potency of a good kiss. Veirs draws comparisons to Cat Power, PJ Harvey, and Suzanne Vega, but her skills have been honed on her own stone for six solid albums now. Karl Blau, a member of her group the Tortured Souls, opens. His K Records debut, Beneath Waves, is a treat.

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