Saltbreakers offers a further instalment of Veirs' fascination with elemental maritime themes, following the course begun on the wonderful Carbon Glacier and continued on Year of Meteors, but with a somewhat more restrained application of the latter's folk-rock band sound. Songs such as "Ocean Night Song" and "Cast a Hook" recall the reveries of Carbon Glacier, tracing mystical lines between heaven and earth - or rather, heaven and sea - as Veirs envisions "rivers running up the hills into the sky and down to the sea". In "Pink Light", cyclical guitar figures herald the dawn and "in the fading of the constellations, I am growing strong". Even occupying firmer ground in "Phantom Mountain", her perceptions are epiphanic: "I could not tell the truth from the mirage," she marvels, as two lead guitars battle for control of the album's most full-on rocker. Tucker Martine's production is elegant, with arrangements coloured by exotic highlights of chamberlin, viola, marimba and flugelhorn; his treatment of Veirs' serpentine melodies at times recalls Sufjan Stevens.
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