Laura Veirs’ seventh album July Flame, which Colin Meloy calls “the best album of 2010,” explores the emotion of mid-summer. Drenched in wood smoke, sunlight, pollinators, pastoral dales, fireworks and warm nights, her lyrics explore the dichotomy between one’s desire for permanence and security and the realization that such things rarely exist. Nowhere on the album is this inherent tension more crystallized than on the title track.
On a day in late July 2008, when the sun was hot enough to melt the skin, Veirs and a friend stumbled upon a booth at the Portland, Ore. farmer’s market selling July Flame peaches. Veirs so liked the name that she suggested she and her friend each write a song with that title. They bought a bunch of peaches and canned them in their bathing suits on the hottest day that summer.