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Dark Light

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Album Review

Lovers inhabit an area somewhere between folk, pop, and electronica, and at least on this album, folktronica seems an apt description. The trio, singer and songwriter Carolyn Berk, synthesizer ace Kerby Ferris, and percussionist/drummer Emily Kingan, play a late-night kind of music, perfect for long introspective evenings alone or with that special someone. "No Regrets" is a slow funk tune with quirky percussion accents and a dreamy synth line that augments the song's surrealistic images and Berk's matter-of-fact delivery. "Cedar Falls" is an aching ballad with baroque synthesizer fills that describes the awkward moment when lovers morph into friends. Berk's singing imbues the moment with unbearable sadness. "Barnacle" blends a minimal spacy synthesizer line and slow thumping backbeat with the trio's intertwining harmonies to portray the end of a difficult relationship. "Shepherd of the Stray Hearts" is a song of frustrated seduction that uses acoustic guitar, bass, and subtle synthesizer and drum accents to create a mood of painful longing. Articles about Lovers all call them loud and proud, and maybe they are when they play loud, but the songs on Dark Light are all moody in the extreme, and almost uniformly serene, musically if not lyrically. People who like their pop with a heavy introspective edge will adore Lovers. The only quibble is that, despite Berk's gorgeous way with a melody and her ability to delve deeply into melancholy states without appearing to be completely detached and depressed, the arrangements here are all a bit too similar. An unexpected change of rhythm or a synthesizer solo that breaks through the record's somnambulant atmosphere would help the individual tracks to stand on their own. Still, those with a love of despondent navel gazing will find much to love here. ~ j. poet, Rovi

Biography

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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Dark Light, Lovers
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