With a gritty, timeless vibe that conjures a spaceage bachelor pad chanteuse singing over gentle, seductive soul/worldbeat/trip-hop grooves late at night on a lonely "el" platform, Lovers in Arms began 2006 as a fruitful collaboration between singers and sonwriters Caroline Yohanan and Armando Perez. The group made its recorded debut with a disc called "Belmont Electric," expanded to a quintet for live performance (with bassist Ryan Schoen, drummer Dan Lieber and Juan Lugo joining Perez on guitar) and returned to the studio last year to craft the new D.I.Y. album "Strength for the Weary," as impressive a disc from a Chicago combo as this column has ever covered.
"I'm addicted/Like a junkie," Yohanan coos in "Shades of Green." "Wrap your arms around me/Let me feel you/Layers of green." That's an invitation that's hard to resist, as evidenced by the sample tracks posted on the band's Web page (http://www.myspace.com/loversinarms), or the considerable charm it exudes in concert. (Lovers in Arms performs at the Funky Buddha Lounge on April 9, at Subterranean on April 10 and at Martyr's on April 18.)