Cake Bake Betty: To the Dark Tower

[1 October 2008]

By Alan Brown

No one could accuse Chicago-based songwriter Lindsay Powell of being a slouch. If the lady isn’t busy duetting with sister Alex, singing and playing keyboards in State Champion or taking to the stage as Sewn Groan, she goes by the name of Cake Bake Betty—a pianist with a penchant for experimental folk and a voice that radiates warmth. Drawing inspiration from the same well as contemporaries Scout Niblett and Joanna Newsom, To the Dark Tower, Powell’s second outing as CBB, continues where 2006’s Songs About Teeth left off with another wonderful collection of haunting songs. Over the course of 27 minutes, the 12 numbers gathered here glide gracefully from the jaunty piano lines and mildly chaotic percussion of “Oklahoma City” to much darker territory with mysterious vignettes “Eleanor”, “Married Gal” and the seriously creepy highlight “Livers”, recalling the gothic tales of ‘80s punk siren Danielle Dax.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/cake-bake-betty-to-the-dark-tower/