Published Oct 21, 2020Laura Veirs states she knew that she and her then-husband, producer, and percussionist, Tucker Martine, were getting divorced by the time they began working on her latest album, My Echo. They were no longer a couple once the album was being mixed.
In the first track, "Freedom Feeling," Veirs sings, "I'm sighing for all the dreams deferred and I'm searching for that freedom feeling, for you, for you, for me." The sound and sentiment conveyed in the album is less sombre and sad as it is complex and expansive. The album should be unsettling — but it isn't.
Veirs is primarily a folk musician and this is still primarily a folk album but with some additional influences. Throughout the album, the presence of the Bizarre Stars Strings (Patti King on violin, Kyleen King on viola and Anna Fritz on cello) gives the sense of grandeur, with orchestral swells heard here and there, while Justin Chase's synth repertoire give a post-human sound.
For contrast, "End Times" features just Veirs singing and playing the piano. Veirs admits to intentionally steering away from a downcast sound at times; "Turquoise Walls" is composed of playful banjo and Nashville guitar against despondent lyrics about being in the room that she painted with her then-husband.
The album benefits from the presence of a diverse array of musicians and also showcases Veirs' talent as a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, and Martine's skills in percussion as well as production. My Echo is not so much about emptiness as it is about how far one's sound can travel. (Raven Marching Band)