Laura Veirs grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she often spent summers camping with her family, which gave her much of her songwriting inspiration. Veirs has said that she didn’t seriously listen to music until she was in her 20s; instead, she just heard what was in her environment. She listened to folk, country, classical and pop music around the house and on the radio during her youth.
Attending Carleton College in rural Minnesota, Veirs latched onto feminist punk rock from the Pacific Northwest, eventually starting an all-female punk band called “Rair Kx!”. Laura studied geology and Mandarin Chinese. After college, she embraced older country and folk music. Her first foray into songwriting started with a geological expedition in China, where she served as translator. She was miserable and immersed herself into writing lyrics as a way of coping.
She put out her own self-titled album Laura Veirs, recorded live and featuring just her and guitar, in 1999. She has since made five highly acclaimed records with producer Tucker Martine. 2003 saw the release of Troubled by the Fire, a full-band effort that found the artist sharing the studio with such luminaries as Bill Frisell and violist Eyvind Kang. She signed to Nonesuch Records the following year with the atmospheric follow-up Carbon Glacier. Year of Meteors followed in August 2005. She collaborated with The Decemberists on “Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)”, from their 2006 album The Crane Wife. Her sixth record, Saltbreakers, was released worldwide on Nonesuch Records in April 2007.
Veirs’ seventh album, July Flame, will be released in January 2010 on her own record label, Raven Marching Band Records (in North America) and on Bella Union (in Europe and the rest of the world).
Veirs tours frequently in Europe, North America and Australia both solo and with a backing band consisting of a rotating cast including Karl Blau, Steve Moore, Tucker Martine, Keeley Boyle, Nelson Kempf, Eric Anderson, Kate O’Brien-Clarke and Alex Guy.