7. Laura Veirs, July Flame
“Can I call you mine?”
Portland-based singer-songwriter Laura Veirs has been releasing consistently great albums over the past decade, and July Flame is the latest chapter in her storied career. Veirs makes her songs a study in what is and isn’t said, especially the title track and the haunting Appalachian folk of “I Can See Your Tracks”. Charmingly folksy at first, July Flame reveals itself over time as a reserved yet piercing look at passion’s inherent joys and dangers – the backing vocals in the otherwise effervescent “Summer is the Champion” say ‘Don’t search them out’, and "Wide Eyed, Legless" pairs unsettling imagery with a restless melody. One of the year's overlooked gems.