July Flame (Raven Marching Band)
After cutting loose her old band and label, Laura Veirs takes a straightforward, personal approach to folk on her seventh studio album. Her tight, pretty songs rely on her prominent fingerpicking and evoke summer on the breezy Sun Is King and Summer Is The Champion. They also hint at My Morning Jacket, especially on opener I Can See Your Tracks, likely because Jacket’s Jim James helps out with vocals here and elsewhere.
He doesn’t, however, commandeer the record. Nor does composer Eyvind Kang (Mr. Bungle, Sunn O))) and Animal Collective), who adds warm viola. Mostly Veirs paints an image of rural solitude, where neighbours – or in this case guest musicians – stop by to say hello. Did you know that July Flames are also tasty peaches? With summer so far away, this record’s only downside is that it lacks a hit song to help it last until July.
Top track: When You Give Your Heart