Thursday Jul 18, 2013
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Annie Lewandowski comes from Minnesota, a place full of things that are long and longer: church services, dinner tables, and worry lines, to name a few. Somebody said there are ten thousand lakes there; if that’s true, each of them shows up in some little way in Annie’s songs. She writes under the name powerdove, which began as a band of one in California in 2007. A document of this brief solo era can be found on her EP Live from the Maybeck House (s/r, 2010). Before long, powerdove evolved into three; that trio (with Alex Vittum, percussion, and Jason Hoopes, bass) recorded Be Mine in 2009 (Circle into Square, 2010). On her new album, Do you Burn? (March, 2013), many of the songs were written along the scuzzy River Itchen in Hampshire, England, where Annie played concerts and went on the occasional European tour with Curtis McKinney, a laptop composer who uses Supercollider. After this year spent down by the sea, she returned to the US, settling in upstate New York and writing the rest of the material on the new album. When it came time to record, Annie enlisted the help of an old California friend, John Dieterich (Deerhoof), and a new French one, Thomas Bonvalet (L’ocelle Mare). Three great improvisers, they worked fast. The resulting album Do You Burn? lies somewhere near The Marble Index, David Sylvian, Diane Cluck, and the Curtains (of which Annie is a former member). The roughness and fluidity of these tracks owe to their origin in mostly live takes, which have also lent a certain intimacy to every sound: these are little songs to love, but there is also great mystery here, and even menace. Do You Burn? is available from Murailles Music/Africantape and Circle into Square Records.