Long a fixture on the Portland scene, Lovers (Carolyn Berk, Kerby Ferris and Emily Kingan) has been performing together for more than a decade.
The new album, A Friend in the World, is the band’s seventh studio release and fuses its synth pop sound with Berk’s intimate lyrics.
“I’m a lover of intimacy,” Berk says, “and it’s problematic often in my life, but to me I long for connection with other people, I think. But it also is terrifying to me; I’m very afraid of it. But I think it’s some way to connect.”
Lovers’ rhythmic punch has become more attenuated over the years — listen to the tribal drumming of “Purple Sage” — and Berk has become a full-time vocalist, no longer playing guitar.
“We’ve been trying to incorporate the acoustic guitar into the live set and just seeing how it felt,” Berk says, “but honestly I think I feel like the sound is a little more expansive without it, which I really like for live performance. And I love being ungrounded in that way where I can just be focused on my vocal. I love to just sing.”
Songs from the new record including “Oh Yeah” and “The Modern Art Museum of the Modern Kiss Goodbye” have been fixtures on the opbmusic playlist since summer.
Lovers will be on tour on the East Coast starting mid-October, then in Europe, and back on the West Coast before the end of the year. Keep an eye on the band’s website for a Portland concert date in 2014.