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Sleep With Heat

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Album Review

At first, Lovers were reductively viewed by some as a distaff version of Bright Eyes, with teenage singer/songwriter Carolyn Berk's romantic obsessions (hence the band name) and largely acoustic singer/songwriter musical bent leading the least perceptive of listeners to dismiss them as an adolescent girl's diary entries set to music. That's always done Lovers a disservice, but with their third album, Berk has created her first consistently solid set of songs. Recorded with a stable band lineup (three members of the dream pop outfit Phosphorescent and Parker and Lily's Daniel Rickard), Sleep with Heat is the first Lovers album with a consistent musical vibe to go along with Berk's by now familiar lyrical mood. Downplaying the chamber pop sound of The Gutter and the Garden in favor of an equally ethereal but more assertive blend of hazy textures akin to vintage Rain Parade and Opal, Sleep with Heat is Lovers' closest so far to a traditional indie rock album: the haunting "My Heart Never Sleeps" is at the exact point of triangulation between Liz Phair's lo-fi heart-on-sleeve Exile in Guyville, the Cocteau Twins' dreamy atmospherics, and the druggy but beautiful vibe of Nico's Chelsea Girls. It's an improbable place to be, but Lovers make it feel like home.


Formed: Portland, Oregon

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Specializing in an evocative mix of pop, folk, indie rock, and electronic music, Lovers formed in 2002 as a solo vehicle for prolific East Coast singer/songwriter Carolyn Berk. Simultaneously introspective and quirky, the band released its 2002 debut long-player, Star Lit Sunken Ship, through the Orange Twin label. Gutter and the Garden arrived in 2004, followed in 2007 by the well-received Sleep with Heat, and in 2009 by the spare I Am the West. Released in 2010, Dark Light saw the band gel into...
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Sleep With Heat, Lovers
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