Portland trio Lovers are both quite accomplished and quite new to the music scene. Although technically on their seventh album, as the band’s current formation, the Portland-based trio, are only on their sophomore effort. Lovers are comprised of songwriter Carolyn Berk, producer and performance artist Kerby Ferris, and producer and percussionist Emily Kingan and last month they released A Friend in the World, courtesy of Badman Recording Company. I recently got a chance to chat with Berk, who tells me, “It feels amazing to have finished the record and to be moving forward as a group in the present tense.”
A Friend in the World boasts classically accomplished songwriting chops, propelled by a postmodern, electronic aesthetic. However, the band’s sound is never imposing, using the electronics to warm their tone and make it something suited for casual dancing… the kind of dancing you do in the summertime in backyards and on roof decks with only those that you love the most in the world. I asked Berk to compare the album’s sound (and how it came about) to 2010’s Darklight (Lovers’ first as a trio).
“The way that it sounds now, I think it’s much more spacious. It’s buoyant in a way. I think, as a songwriter, I’m more confident and I’m more aware of my place. We’re all taking it more seriously and trying to make fully-realized work. We’re all just trying to make something that we love, which is hard, negotiating all of the aspects of it.”
Carolyn Berk tells me that her biggest hope is to do more writing and creating in the near future: “I’m interested in recording more. I have a next batch of songs in the demo stage and I’m hoping to get into a zone with that sort of stuff. I like the idea of recording in winter in Portland.” However, the band are currently on a string of US dates (before heading off to Europe), which includes a stop at Kung Fu Necktie this Wednesday, October 23rd. I ask what the band’s goal is with their live performances and she gives me a concise (and somewhat profound) reply… but which may actually raise more questions than it answers… “We bring our intention and our presence. We try to be as present tense as possible. Just trying to have a beautiful, love space is what it’s really about.”