[SONGWRITING SISTERHOOD] The new, self-titled project by Case/Lang/Veirs—the esteemed Neko, K.D. and Laura, respectively—feels most like a Veirs solo joint with marquee guests. Veirs' husband, Tucker Martine, co-produces, and the writing credits show she alone has a hand in every track. Yet the collective, convened at Lang's prompting, could be seen as an elaborate delivery system of new Lang music to nominally younger, hipper listeners. Despite the trio's stylistic departures, in her showcases, Lang is in familiar chanteuse mode. "Blue Fires"—literally a torch song—and two other ballads probe similar mysteries: "Why do blue fires burn in me, yet not in you?" "How can you stand right there and be a thousand miles away?" "How can a love so pure and true have me falling through the ropes?" Rare misstep "Song for Judee" is Veirs' latest tribute to musical foremothers, in this case doomed folkie Judee Sill, following earlier nods to Carol Kaye and Alice Coltrane. Like those predecessors, its lyrics seem merely an earnest writing exercise—biographical bullet points with a beat. "Greens of June," though, makes an evocative companion to her July Flame's visionary title track, while the luminous "Best Kept Secret" would own the airwaves of a better world. Case, for her part, seems to have filed down her flinty edge somewhat to play well with others, to fine result. For all three artists, this bold alliance feels like a career highlight.
SEE IT: Case/Lang/Veirs plays the Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, with Andy Shauf, on Saturday, July 2. 7 pm. $43.50-$73.50. Download code for new album included with each ticket. All ages.