Recording information: Bedroom Empire in Echo Park, Los Angeles, California; Club Roar in Nashville, Tennessee; Dome in the Desert in Joshua Tree, California; Nick + Maiana's Sanctuary in Echo Park, Los Angeles, Ca; Studio 153A in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photographers: Shervin Lainez; Bliss Braoudakis; Laura Burhenn.
Arranger: Laura Burhenn.
The third studio long player from the Laura Burhenn-led indie pop outfit, Lovers Know doubles down on the slick electro-pop elements that crept in on 2012's Generals, but also dials back some of the more socio-political aspects of that album in favor of a return to the heartfelt and unabashedly earnest soul searching that dominated the group's 2010 debut, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood. Inspired by a cross-country American road trip, a South African solo tour, and a bout of European wanderlust, Lovers Know reflects the inward journey that each traveler takes when trying to parse the near constant flow of stimuli that accompanies a grand adventure. Burhenn's sultry baritone and penchant for pairing brooding neo-soul with wide-angle-lens electro-indie rock lends the 12-track set a real Killers-meets-Florence + the Machine vibe, but where those two artists nearly always have their sights set on the nosebleed section, Burhenn manages to keep things emotionally intimate enough that the album's more sonically expansive cuts like "All My Heart," "Wildfire," and "Believer" stay firmly rooted in terra firma. As the title suggests, much of Lovers Know concerns itself with the vagaries of human behavior when faced with the dizzying unpredictability of devotion in the 21st century, and Burhenn's the first to admit that she's just as full of questions as the rest of us. There's also a real air of nostalgia at play here, due in large part to Burhenn having written the majority of the material on a small, long-in-the-tooth Casio keyboard, lending the collection a comfy retro feel that never comes off as kitsch. It's both quiet and grand, sad and sweet, and undeniably human. ~ James Christopher Monger