recovery council is the sonic brainchild of one Rebeca Lewis Qualls.
Her debut CD release, Advent 619, features her talents from various acoustic and electronic instruments, vocals, guitars and synthesizers to various forms of percussion and circuit-bent electronics. A multitasker of sorts, she has written, arranged, and played every instrument/sound/beep/noise heard on the album. Combining a sense of childlike wonderment with the repercussions of faulty engineering, Qualls spins somber yet playful stories about a robotic creation gone awry in Advent 619.
Remaining true to her inner geek, she managed to write and record Advent 619 while in graduate school during the fall of 2003. Jangly, lush guitar work, sweeping string synths accompanied by various beeps, and electronic drums reminiscent of robotic limitations give this album sonically grandiose yet organically human qualities. The quirks of homestyle production add to its raw yet dreamy splendor.
Ever since the computer age hit us smack up-side the head, artist after artist has been fascinated by the juxtaposition of man and machine. Rebeca Lewis, otherwise known as Recovery Council, takes this topic to a strange and fascinating level, relating the tale of a strange love affair with a robot and its inevitable downfall.
As a concept album, the story reads clearly throughout. Lewis produced Advent 619 while getting her Masters in Information Systems, and it shows. Each song is crafted with the poetry and realistic jargon-handling that only a skilled computer technician or engineering major could employ. From her mention in "Broken Toys" of frayed and unraveling wires to "The Last Transmission"'s closing blip, she strings together a twisted look into robots as personalities. It is in "The Last Transmission" that she finally reveals her longing for the lost robot: "Now I lay me down to sleep / Without the 'soothing goodnight' beep / No more robot at my bedside / To comfort me with sine wave tide..." Lewis sings all of this with a deep whisper that would easily find a home in a smoke-filled piano bar, but the music is dragged out into the nightlife of the city, with the lush and organic blend of synths and beats that only reminds us of how slow the world becomes when the power goes out. (SPLENDID e-zine, 2/25/2004)