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.
Dark Light Review
by j. poet