Lovers: Star Lit Sunken Ship (2002)

An ambient blend of Mazzy Star, the Cocteau Twins and Big Star's Third/Sister Lovers, Lovers' Star Lit Sunken Ship is a wonderful little record, perfect dream pop for quiet nights alone after dark.  It's stark, beautiful, and without pretense, with some great, lovelorn lyrics to boot from vocalist Carolyn Berk.

Alas, it's pretty hard to track down; the album is out of print and it doesn't stream, but you might be able to find it somewhere on the interwebs.  You can hear samples and buy digital tracks on Amazon; you might be able to pick it up from the original record company, Orange Twin.

My personal fave is "People In Cars Don't Face Each Other," with gentle acoustic guitars overlaying the insistent drone, Berk's understated vocals absolutely haunting.  Here are some sample lyrics that have always stuck with me:

    I drove alone to Buffalo and scratched a heart around your name
    At every rest stop vending machine I passed along the way
    (I’d taken speed for days)

    I took pictures from the car window, these colored blurs of time
    And left them for you by the pay phones, because I can’t call or write

    It’s just been too much time.

    The road was without winter glow, just dreary landscape
    And the whimper of the radio and a rubberbanded picture of your face
    Around an old mixtape you’d made.

Cool, right?  Other great tracks include "I Believe In Outer Space," another particularly melancholy, slow-burning and melodic tune; and the moody "No Words," which sounds like a female-helmed run at Big Star's Third (though the song "Dream Lover" on the album is not a cover).

It's one of my favorite albums of it's ilk, gorgeous and somber but engaging nonetheless.  Definitely worth hunting it down.  

They followed this with two comparable albums, both also great and sadly out of print, and then introduced a more synth-based dance-pop sound that was less up my alley.  Alas, only the latter albums are on Spotify, though I Was The East includes a few songs reminiscent of their early sound.

No videos, but here's an audio rip of "People In Cars..."
"I Believe In Outer Space":
"No Words Allowed":
 "Winter Takes A Lover":