sound check

June 16, 2011 |

By Michael Swanger



“Dark Light”

Badman Recording Co.


Singer Carolyn Beck’s opening, moanful line “Every time the music starts, I can feel my aching, shaking heart” set to a drone-like, sparse rhythm punctuated by a dreamy keyboard sets the tone for this smoldering album of seduction music known as “Dark Light” by the aptly-titled Portland, Ore.-based Lovers. What follows is nine more tracks characterized by three-part harmonies, languid tempos, deep introspection and “next-wave humor” (whatever that is). Throughout “Dark Light,” Berk, synth-programmer Kerby Ferris and percussionist Emily Kinigan create a musical portrait of “intimate female friendship” (more than friends?) and sexuality that sonically incorporates elements of indie-rock, ’80s synth pop and singer-songwriter folk at once, designed to appeal to progressive, electro-pop fans. CV

(The Lovers play an all-ages show at the Vaudeville Mews on Saturday, June 18 at 6 p.m. Pink Kodiak opens. $5.)


Kate Voegele

“Gravity Happens”

ATO Records


To be clear, let’s see if I’ve got this right. Twenty-four-year-old singer-songwriter Kate Voegele portrays 20-something singer-songwriter Mia on the television show “One Tree Hill,” who sings, um, Kate Voegele songs. Is that right? You mean Kate is Mia and Mia is Kate?! Oh, these complicated 20-somethings and their vexing pop-culture lives. The last time I was this confused was when Suzi Quatro portrayed Pinky Tuscadero’s little sister Leather Tuscadero on “Happy Days.” Then again, after subjecting myself to Voegele’s 12 tracks of youthful, light-hearted, squeaky-clean pop (in lieu of the “powerhouse vocals and serious charisma” her press materials promised), I found myself asking the most important question of all: Who gives a shit? CV

(Kate Voegele opens for Natasha Bedingfield at Nitefall on the River on Monday, June 20 at 7 p.m. at Simon Estes Amphitheater. $20.)