July Flame

Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Veirs' new album July Flame sends us on hikes through dreamy landscapes evoked by her uniquely tangy voice, casting minimal instrumentation in glistening arrangements to captivate the melancholy imagination.
  2. All of these songs build from more simple riffs to fleeting layers and orchestral flourishes, with an impressive array of backup vocal and instruments. Sweet and sour in perfectly produced measure, July Flame will easily be one of the best albums of the year.
  3. July Flame is carefully composed, ever-deepening, glinting and glowing in new ways each time it’s played; there’s an inkling of something greater coming just around the bend, but for now it’s Veirs’ finest work.
  4. Laura Veirs makes an excellent case for herself as one of the most under-recognised singer-songwriters working today and the album's summery soul lingers long after first listen.
  5. It has such an unassuming, homespun quality that you're constantly surprised by how expansive and richly textured its songs are.
  6. Mojo
    80
    Unlike some other nu-folkies, this feels organic and unforced; one reason why her albums, and this in particular, have such resonance. [Jan 2010, p.92]
  7. Uncut
    80
    This is a vivid song cycle that's part ecstasy, part-sadness--but unfailingly lovely. [Jan 2010, p.119]
  8. Slight discrepancies aside, July Flame triumphs when the music is stripped and Veirs' reflective folk-pop and country-folk songwriting comes to the fore. As it transpires, July Flame is a treasure trove for the wistful daydreamer.
  9. Here is a winsome, lady-driven response to the wood-chopping likes of Midlake, Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket that remains refreshingly sweet.
  10. Q Magazine
    80
    Always an engaging songwriter with a strong mystical and elemental bent, the seamlessly flowing July Flame now adds an increased accessibility to her armoury. [Feb 2010, p. 112]
  11. Filter
    76
    It turns out Veirs hasn't actually abandoned instrumentations, she's just trying out a new kind. And what she ends up with is her best, most sophisticated record to date. [Holiday 2009, p.93]
  12. July Flame is ultimately a record that's easy to get into and just as easy to stay with.
  13. With Martine's fine-grain arrangements giving texture to Veirs's accounts of paddling down rivers and dreaming of silver silos. It's all exceedingly lovely stuff.
  14. The album showcases Veirs’ warm vocals, deft guitar picking and country-inflected songwriting. It’s not all so stripped down as to be dull, however, and songs like the title track are intricately woven tapestries of strings, woodwind and cooing backing vocals.
  15. It’s full of layered folk and indie-rock bucolia and plain-spoken but stretchy-thinking language, wherein everyday energies or objects transubstantiate into other, metaphorically richer ones.
  16. There are no wasted notes anywhere on July Flame, neither in Martine's production nor Veirs' tightly written (but still expressionistically poetic) compositions.
  17. With [Jim] James, Veirs has proven that she's capable of breaking out of this pattern. Now she just needs to learn to do it on her own.
  18. Under The Radar
    60
    July Flame is a sparser effort than some of Veirs' past releases, and while there is no shortage of quality songs here, some of the most winning moments comes when the arrangements are a bit denser. [Holiday, 2009, p.77]
  19. With summer so far away, this record’s only downside is that it lacks a hit song to help it last until July.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Aug 14, 2013
    9
    As soon as Laura Veirs starts singing on July Flame, she holds your attention whether you're washing dishes or reading while listeningAs soon as Laura Veirs starts singing on July Flame, she holds your attention whether you're washing dishes or reading while listening throughout the whole album. It's a beautiful album that has no real comparison to other female singer/songwriters with guitars. The Liz Phair and Suzanne Vega comparisons that the critics have been summoning have no real validity. Laura Veirs is unique, and this album will show you just how and why this is so. Her best album ...so far. Full Review »
  2. SeanC.
    Jan 15, 2010
    9
    A wonderful new album from the prodigiously talented Veirs. Quick anecdote: I put it on at work at random -- without a word -- while a cohort A wonderful new album from the prodigiously talented Veirs. Quick anecdote: I put it on at work at random -- without a word -- while a cohort and I were working on some paperwork, and within three seconds of the first track, he turned his head and said, "That sounds delightful." It does indeed. Full Review »
  3. Sep 16, 2013
    10
    Laura Veirs' masterwork to date, an alchemical blend of elements and skills she's displayed in previous work synthesized in one place soaringLaura Veirs' masterwork to date, an alchemical blend of elements and skills she's displayed in previous work synthesized in one place soaring vocals, unintuitive but resonant lyrics, and a patchwork Americana landscape that engages and invites repeat listening. One of the finest albums of 2010, and a superb gateway to new fans who haven't yet given Veirs a listen. Full Review »