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Athens, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Athens, Georgia, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Pop Dream Pop




"Powerkompany's Shifting Identity"

"I am more than this/ More than what you see"

-Powerkompany, "More Than This"

Don't be fooled by the motorcycle helmet in Marie Davon's hand: she and her husband, Andrew Heaton, have been zipping around town together on a moped. (As if she's worried about people underestimating her toughness, Davon blurts that she "used to have a motorcycle.") Heaton and Davon's band, Powerkompany, released its debut LP this week via Mazarine Records. I Am More Than This is an intrepid record that highlights the group's—and its members'—adaptive qualities.

Davon, in particular, is a model of evolving identity. A biochemical researcher by day, Karolyn Troupe assumes her stage name when performing in, writing for and even thinking about Powerkompany.

"It was this secret identity that's not so secret anymore," she says, explaining that the pseudonym sprang from a desire to separate her artistic and professional lives. "I have a very serious controlled side, but I also have this hypersexual, silly, very diva side, too. And that's totally Marie Davon. I don't want them to be separate. But I feel like when I start writing, that's who is thinking. It cannot possibly be Karolyn, because she's very mathematical."

The band name itself is an extension of Davon's personality; her online handle for years, it presented itself as an apt descriptor of the music the couple began making together, starting with Comfort, a 2011 EP that Heaton describes as "a demo that got out of hand." It was both a logical continuation of each member's musical history—Davon, then Troupe, was an integral member of beloved local indie-pop institution Venice is Sinking; Heaton continues to play fiddle and sing in Packway Handle Band—and a vast departure. Acoustic guitars and dramatic viola coexisted with burbling electronics, thanks to Heaton's latent production talent, while Troupe's strong, seductive voice, limited in Venice is Sinking to a utilitarian role, soared above it all.

"It was totally an experiment," says Davon of Comfort. "In fact, we didn't even intend it to be an album." But the recording took root. In March 2012, Pulse, a collection of remixes by local producers, appeared. The addition of beats to the group's dreamy, drumless sound was a revelation, even to Heaton and Davon, who then approached I Am More Than This with a newfound focus on rhythm and texture—and time.

"We wanted to spend a little bit more time on the next group of songs," says Heaton. "When you make that decision, you inevitably start adding more and more. Maybe more than you need to, in many cases."

The new album occasionally suffers from an abundance of ambition. On the title track, the band tries to cram too much energy into three headachy minutes: there's the hammy chorus, the aggressively orchestral backing track, the Dylan-circa-Desire violin solo.

But I Am More Than This also houses the group's most nuanced tunes to date. The sad, gorgeous lullaby "Lost" and the striking acoustic narrative "Blame" are obvious highlights. The subtle electronic alteration that dots closer "Mermaid Sunlight" is an especially nice touch.

These standout moments owe to a shifting dynamic, the band explains. Specifically, Heaton has taken a more hands-on role. "I've gotten a lot better at accepting his advice," Davon says with a laugh. "Before, I would get kind of offended." In addition, both members contributed lyrics to the new record; it's often obvious who wrote what. Heaton describes himself as "much more of a conversational lyric writer," while Davon is more abstract. ("I think a lot of that comes from hiding behind a veil," she says.)

In the album's best moments, the two styles converge, as on "Another One Born in New York," which channels the band's hero, Leonard Cohen, in sound, title and attitude. It's not the album's boldest track, but it is probably its best. It's no coincidence that it also sounds like its truest collaboration. "The good thing about me and Andrew is that we have an underlying current that is very, very similar," Davon says. "I think if our rivers aren't the same, they're at least parallel."

But Davon is still the star of the band, and more than anything I Am More Than This reflects her growing confidence as a frontwoman. "I need to be fearless," she says. "Because, otherwise, I do terrible things. I release myself in other ways, and if I don't do it onstage, or in my art, I'm going to be self-destructive."

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it almost works. But even when the band overreaches, it's all kind of captivating, these two seasoned musicians rediscovering their potential and, in the pr - Flagpole Magazine

"powerkompany- I Am More Than This"

Over the course of the last few years and handful of EPs, Marie Davon and her husband, Andrew Heaton, of powerkompany have developed a moody, ethereal sound grounded in gloomy synths and elevated by bright violin. Onto this canvas, Davon projects strong sentiments about relationships and her own femininity. “You’re a self-loving, treasure-hunting little girl of a woman,” she sings on “Another One Born in New York,” a song about a woman who essentially joined Davon and Heaton’s marriage for a short time. The rest of the album, ornamented with messages to old lovers, reads like an airing of grievances, something Davon had to get out of the way to make room for herself. The album’s dark title track is a highlight and hints at a potential in Davon for deeper songwriting. I Am More Than This is a promising record, one that leaves you eager to find out what more Davon has up her sleeve. Rachel Bailey - Georgia Music Magazine


One of the more fascinating effects of technological innovation in music has been the ability for bands to work as a duo in the studio and somehow pull off a respectable live show without help from a busload of touring musicians. Countless examples from the past decade and a host of genres immediately come to mind: The White Stripes, Shovels and Rope, The Black Keys, Death from Above 1979. With their second release, I Am More Than This, Athens, Georgia’s Powerkompany make a strong case for being included in that list of acts with a lot of cultural influence despite listing a short roster.

There’s no need to discuss the group’s backstory at length here – all that information can be found for interested listeners on the band’s website. Suffice it to say that husband and wife Marie Davon and Andrew Heaton are no strangers to performing and their history as longtime musicians in Athens is evident throughout the record. Although Powerkompany is a far stretch from the other projects that the two have been involved in, the band’s latest release is something of a pinnacle. One can only hope that their latest release is something of a prophetic statement that the duo has more songs of this caliber in the queue.

With only Davon and Heaton at the helm, Powerkompany’s sound still manages to be big. By that, I don’t mean that they’re going to be playing arenas later this year (not that such a thing would be totally unjustified). Simply put, the album sounds like more than two people are involved in its production. Sure, studio trickery these days can allow for an infinite number of tracks to be layered on top of one another, but often the guitar strumming on I Am More Than This doesn’t seem to be emanating from the same fingers putting together the masterful programming on the same track.

“Not the Last,” arguably the album’s strongest track, features Davon’s sentimental voice in front of some dreamy electronic sounds à la Washed Out. “You are/You are the other one/the one/the one who left me here” sings Davon on the track’s opening lines and, just like that, they’ve earned your focused attention for the rest of the record.

The title track includes a Mediterranean flavor that might catch some listeners off guard, but a close listen reveals that the pair is quite adept at invoking other sonic traditions without making a mockery of them. Take the mesmerizing string arrangements on the track along with the carefully calculated almost-industrial rhythms and you’ve got something truly innovative. Like most of the other tracks on the album, there’s no appropriate analog out there circulating in the popular consciousness. For once, originality doesn’t feel so strained and deliberate, which is quite a relief in a time marked by many bands trying too damn hard to sound distinct at the expense at quality songwriting.

Davon takes the vast majority of the vocal duties on the record, but Heaton shares some of the labor on “Can’t Wait,” a track that includes some interesting call and response between the two. There are other highlights on the album as well. The anthem-march of the album’s closer “Mermaid Sunlight” works beautifully even with its sparse instrumentation (a mix of analog and digital percussion, for the most part).

So, what are the common denominators that run throughout I Am More Than This? For starters, high quality songs permeate the record. Every one of the album’s ten tracks belong here, each offering a different dimension to the duo’s penchants for ethereal vocal sounds and electronic programming. Moreover, the inventions of Davon and Heaton deserve to be celebrated. Not only do these songs include interesting arrangements that cover a lot of sonic territory, but they demand careful inspection from attentive listeners.

Words: Dan Mistich - Spindle Magazine

"Video Premiere: Powerkompany - "It's Not The Last""

Athens, Ga. band Powerkompany is fresh on the heels of the release of their debut full-length, I Am More Than This.

To celebrate the album’s release, the band has just revealed a music video for the track “It’s Not The Last.” Staying true to their Georgia roots, the video was shot on an old country road just outside of Athens, with additional footage filmed in an abandoned train station in Atlanta. The rustic aesthetic doesn’t undermine the synth-pop vibe that these Athens musicians have established, and if anything gives them a depth that you’re sure to find on the aptly titled I Am More Than This.

http://vimeo.com/64693450 - Paste Magazine

"Song Premiere: Powerkompany, “Another One Born In New York”"

Check out “Another One Born In New York” off I Am More Than This, a gorgeous track from Athens, Georgia dream-pop duo Powerkompany’sdebut LP.

The song was inspired by some unusual circumstances (or, if you will, a typically normal day in the teeming metropolis of New York City.) Band members Marie Davon and Andrew Heaton met a girl who wanted to get married — to both of them.

“Maybe it was all a joke, maybe she was serious or maybe it was a little bit of both—who knows?” recalls Heaton. “She was from New York. She’d been a model, was a talented photographer and her father had been a Broadway producer. She sort of started courting Marie and me as if we were one person. It was madness, really.”

“We all became very close,” Davon says. “She said she wanted to move in with us. The experience changed my whole perspective of what relationships could be, or are. It was wild—really wild.”“At one point, we were staying with her in Manhattan,” says Heaton, and we found ourselves in the world of Woody Allen—it was like we were re-writing Annie Hall for three people.”
“As unusual as it was,” Davon says, “we all seemed to be on the same wavelength for a while. And then at some point, we weren’t anymore. Sometimes you never figure out how you got there, or why you’re not there anymore. We wonder if she still thinks of us, keeps up with us, or would ever notice something like this article.” - American Songwriter Magazine

"The alchemy of a shared musical mind"

Powerkompany makes their creative decisions at the speed of light. One might assume that if making music were that easy, the songs would take quick turns towards throwing in the kitchen sink. But the voice given to this burgeoning act hints at a subtlety and chemistry rare among newcomers, especially for those borne of the kind of union typically known for quibbling over DVD rentals. In defiance of the typical, this musical couple’s debut EP comes to us under the apt moniker, Comfort, suitable for a seven-song release that — even at it’s loudest — never intrudes upon the aural senses.
Andrew Heaton (Packway Handle Band) and Marie Davon (Karolyn of Venice is Sinking under the assumption of a new name) retreated to this project in search of a minimal approach to songwriting. Both, Packway Handle and Venice is Sinking — each successful in their own right — must reconcile a number of different voices in the creative process. The Comfort demos, primarily written by Marie and further developed in the studio by Andrew, did not see a lot of compromise, even amidst the simple intimacy of two composers.
“We never really compromised. We either convinced the other person that one was right, or we saw the same thing,” explains Marie. Andrew, a matter-of-fact gentlemen not soon taken by frills, goes on to concur citing a “shared aesthetic.” The resulting emotional comprehensiveness of the album is a testament to the pair’s skill in avoiding the deft, yet stunting artistic pitfalls that so often linger on works like ill-conceived tattoos acquired in times of frivolity.
For all their restraint, Powerkompany does not shy from boasting their innate strengths. The rich tones of Heaton’s violin bear an earnestness seemingly plucked from antiquity. Davon’s angelic, nigh operatic, vocals are even more haunting in person, perhaps because of her diminutive stature. To see some arresting vocal loop-work, take a gander at their live performance recently shot atop the roof of the Georgia Theatre.
You can see Powerkompany live in the truest sense this Saturday at the 40 Watt. There you will have the option to purchase their new release, brought to you in the form of a flashdrive branded with the band’s logo. And just as PK’s chanteuse succeeds in punching far above her weight, this svelte little USB drive boasts 1 GB. You can expect even more out of your money this weekend if you attend the release party as the show is only $5 and will feature two other stellar Athens acts in support: The Gold Party and Easter Island. 40 Watt will switch on the current around 9 p.m. - Athens Banner Herald

"Picture Book and Review: Nophest 2012 @ East Atlanta Village – August 24th, 2012 (day 2)"

Powerkompany @ 529
I was quite disappointed that I was only able to see the last song from Powerkompany’s set, because that one song blew me away. They closed with “Walking Away”, a minimal and melancholy tune that consists of a faint guitar strum underneath the two female singers’ breathy vocals. The melody was achingly beautiful, and burrowed into my brain immediately. At the end, the lead singer repeated the melody at progressively higher octaves, perfectly hitting super-high notes that many singers wouldn’t dare attempt at a live show. I was left starving for more, and I definitely intend to catch these ladies at their next Atlanta show. - Atlanta Music Guide


Thank God for Athens’ powerkompany. This fast-rising new act has crafted a slight, but muscular 7-song album that stacks up brilliantly against 2011’s onslaught of dreampop bands, bringing something new and exciting to a subgenre that is fast becoming overcrowded. A duo in many senses, guitarist/violist Marie Davon (Venice is Sinking) and guitarist/violinist Andrew Heaton (Packway Handle Band) are a married couple, also marrying their love for acoustic instrumentation with some beautifully understated production. On the title track, a mysterious, intricately arranged series of sonic vignettes guides Davon’s steady vocals down a windy, unfamiliar path and lends the entire piece a fluid, shifty sensation akin to that of sleepwalking. “Walking Away” is a haunting lamentation; a collage of words, strings, and sighs in which Davon despairingly repeats “I give up” with a striking vulnerability, almost as though she were singing a dirge at her own funeral. The magisterial “Mermaid” finds her repeating the words “You look better in the sunlight,” almost mantra-like, and at times nearly acapella, in between gorgeous passages in which her voice takes on an ethereal presence not unlike that of Julianna Barwick, and intertwines with her husband’s violin in a celestial dance amongst the heavens.

#powerkompany have tapped into something real, honest, and powerfully original here, and my only complaint is that there’s not more of it. If this Athenian power couple can craft seven more songs as lovely and brave as those found on Comfort, it may not be long before all they’ll need is their music to keep the lights on. - Flagpole

"‘Sickness’ splits performer"

Karolyn Troupe leads a double life.
By day, she’s a veterinary biochemist working on vaccines; and by night, she’s a musician in powerkompany.
In the academic and professional world, Troupe goes by her real, legal name. But when she’s in front of a microphone, it’s “Marie Davon” who performs before the crowd.
“I used to try to hide my identity,” she said. “But now it’s kind of pointless with the Internet … there’s no hiding anymore.”
With Troupe, each of her aliases has a separate identity — and some people only know her as one or the other.

Karolyn Troupe is a scientist. Karolyn Troupe is also a singer. And Karolyn Troupe is ‘Marie Davon’ — an alias she uses not to hide from others, but to better express the more ‘feeling ... side’ of herself. ALAN LIOW/Staff
“I would say that ‘Karolyn’ is more of the logical and rational side,” she said. “And ‘Marie’ is more of the feeling … performing and emotional side.”
And the name “Davon” is also the street she last lived on in Texas with her brother Paul — before he committed suicide.
“He was a very big part of my life,” Troupe said. “So the name has a special significance.”
But this alumna, who graduated in 2002, has an equal affinity for science and art.
“In general, I just have a natural curiosity for everything and being a scientist you just look into everything,” she said. “Music is already tied in with everything, though. And science inspires music and music inspires science.”
And being in a band has a special place in her heart — almost obsessively.
“Music has always been … kind of a sickness,” she said. “It’s something we have to do. We can’t get away from it. It’s an addiction and you just have to have it, it’s a part of you.”
She’s sometimes torn, but doesn’t regret her lives.
“I always joke that if I didn’t have this sickness in my head, I could probably be a successful businesswoman,” she said. “But I might be a successful musician one day.”
The split identity and “sickness” started to grow during her high school and college years.
“In middle school and high school I used to do plays … and choreography,” Troupe said. “I guess all through college I really didn’t do anything on-stage. I was a nerd and I was studying all the time — that’s what biochemistry does.”
During her high school years, she also played the viola and flute — but her pursuit was slightly stunted because of her academic workload.
“But I was singing since the day I was born,” she said. “And all through college, I played unofficially, writing songs.”
Even though Troupe saw her passions splitting, she made the strategic choice to pursue science.
“I’ve always had this plan that I was going to get this career,” she said. “And funnel money, because I knew that was what it took … to funnel my own money into my own art, because then I could do it myself and not listen to anybody.”
While she was planning for her career at the University, she also met her husband, Andrew Heaton — a Ph.D. graduate in ecology and co-member of powerkompany — whom she married in 2008.
It wasn’t necessarily science or music that brought them together. But it didn’t hurt.
“But I don’t even think it was that,” Heaton said. “It was just the [connection].”
Their chemistry was like pieces to a puzzle, she said, and there was an instant spark with one another. He agreed.
Only later came the bond of music and bands.
Before and during powerkompany, Troupe performed and performs with local group Venice is Sinking — but she does so under her real name. This time, as Karolyn.
“Marie Davon,” she said, was a pseudonym that more embodied her performer side and also served as a memory-holder for her brother.
When powerkompany started, she said, “There became a need for that seperation.”
“We’ve been in a band together for eight years,” said Lucas Jensen, drummer for Venice is Sinking. “When you’re in a band with someone … it’s kind of like having a girlfriend, wife or significant other … except you don’t make out with them, but definitely a familial feeling.”
As a part of her band-family, Jensen has witnessed Troupe’s drive to succeed and admires her ability to juggle a life of science and music.
“She’s done a good job of balancing things out,” Jensen said. “And she’s willing to take her vacation to get in a van with a bunch of poor, sweaty guys, out there on the road. Be driving, playing for 30 or 40 people a night, not really making any money.”
Her time is pretty spread out, Jensen realized — but that doesn’t mean she isn’t dedicated.
“She’s got her hands in a lot of pies,” he said. “You know she’s married … and has lots of different projects playing with powerkompany and Venice is Sinking … she’s done a really good job balancing it all.”
Being that she has so many avenues to follow — including real estate ventures with her husband and promoting for local label Mazarine Records, of which she is a member-artist — Heaton said their biggest issue now is finding the time and energy to wear as many hat - Red & Black

"Flagpole's 11 Favorite Athens Albums From 2011"

Powerkompany is a testament to the collaborative spirit, and the beautiful fruit it can bear. Husband and wife duo Marie Davon and Andrew Heaton put their heads together in creating this acoustic/electronic dream-pop project, and the results preserved on Comfort are by turns soul-stirring and heartbreaking. - Flagpole

"powerkompany lights the way"

Last night, I felt like a butterfly emerging from a soundless cocoon. My ears yearned for live music, having been starved for tunes since early December. Tragic, I must say. Through downtown, my friend and I passed street after silent street until, finally, we reached the comforting warmth of Farm 255. Now, my pals, there's no doubt about it! The Farm was the place to be on this fine Thursday night. Crowds of people packed the room, eager for some awesome tunes. As it was Karolyn Troupe of Venice is Sinking's birthday party as well, friends and fans alike were there in full celebration mode, sipping free champagne and munching on what could quite possibly be the most delicious fruit-filled cake known to man. I truly hope she thoroughly enjoyed the night. I know I did!

The entertainment for the night, Karolyn and her husband Andrew Keaton from Packway Handle Band sang and played their way into our hearts with their latest musical creation, Powerkompany. At times even more ethereal than masters of the art, Venice is Sinking, this brand new band gave us powerful yet sweet melodies woven together with the dark, heavy, and sometimes even discordant strumming on the violin and guitar. Drum beats also lent an exciting rhythm to many of the songs. My friend Amina described their style wonderfully, calling it a mix between a serenade and a Lord of the Rings type elven song. Then, as they edged their way towards their final note, they sang an intense melody, eerie yet beautiful, that moved and grew to a wildly satisfying end. I honestly don't think I've ever heard anything so badass! That song was... just brilliant! I'd say Powerkompany is definitely off to an auspicious start. - Echoreyn

"Young, Foxy & Free Summer Music Issue 2011"

http://issuu.com/candycreative/docs/yff12_summer_music_issue_2011_online_edition - Young, Foxy & Free

"Listen Up! — “Comfort”"

Athens duo powerkompany’s debut EP, “Comfort,” evokes feelings of happiness and sorrow in one fell swoop, with a musical mix that plays on scale and beats.
The combination of acoustic guitars, strings, keyboards and electronic beats creates a sound that is almost cinematic: lead singer Marie Davon’s voice is light and endearing, with a warmth that creates a nice contrast to some of the melancholy within the electronic beats and layers of strings.
Multi-instrumentalist Andrew Heaton only sings lead vocals on one cut of the EP, but his presence is felt among the beats, noises and strings.
Though the band uses electronic elements, it is only one portion of the whole. The closest tit comes to sounding like an actual electronic act is on the opening track, “Half Naked,” which closes with auto-tuned vocals atop an electro beat.
The electro beats are a bit of a shock at first, but they are tastefully done, and never overdone. They fill out the appropriate sonic holes where they are needed, and disappear when their services are no longer required.
Most songs build until reaching epic proportions of ambience on tracks like “Hardly” and “Mermaid.” The latter of which has a bridge stacked high with layered vocals, strings, keys and marching-style drums.
One could call powerkompany an indie band, but the songs maintain a consistently pop structure and are pretty accessible. Many, such as “Candlepower” have large, sweeping choruses.
The EP, fittingly, concludes with Davon getting in touch with her inner Taylor Swift on “Dear Boy.” Armed with only a guitar, she sweetly sings about a green-eyed love interest; “Dear Boy/with your racing mind/I kind of hoped you would be mine.” - Red & Black

"powerkompany- Walking Away"

powerkompany is a new electro-folk-pop duo from Athens comprised of Venice is Sinking’s Marie Davon and Andrew Heaton of Packway Handle Band. Together the two create haunting minimalist songs that harness the strength of Davon’s pretty yet undeniably melancholic vocals and set them against a backdrop of barren acoustics, skeletal beats and low-key electro pop flourishes. On Friday, the duo will release their debut EP, a record for which I cannot find much information other than the fact that you can snag it for yourself at their release show this Saturday night. Details are below.

In the meantime, make sure to check out powerkompany’s latest track, “Walking Away,” a mesmerizing slow burner that unwinds with delicate grace. It’s a gorgeous effort, one that clearly establishes the duo as a band to watch in 2012. - Latest Disgrace


New video out now: http://vimeo.com/64693450
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Powerkompany creates melodically-driven dream pop that blends acoustic instruments with orchestral, synthetic and electronic elements. Marie Davon leads with a dynamic vocal performance that partners perfectly to the songwriting skill she developed during her tenure in the cult favorite band Venice is Sinking.  Andrew Heaton supports Davon as the composer and producer, drawing both on his childhood obsession with orchestral music and subsequent years of experience as a folk and bluegrass fiddle player with the Packway Handle Band, just back from tour with Kid Rock and Foreigner. Powerkompany has garnered a diverse following by incorporating visual elements into their performances, including accompanying fashion shows, dance performances, gallery openings and mixed media. Their video for "It's Not the Last" was a finalist in the Sprockets Film Festival competition in 2013, and their video for "Another One Born in New York" was premiered at the same festival in 2014.
It was years ago when Andrew and Marie met in school halls. It was their mutual love of music that did them in. At first, Marie sang parts for Andrew's solo record "A(n) Simulated Complaint." Then Marie built songs, Andrew tinkered with them and got them running. They both polished and played to produce the songs, releasing each piece into our artistically crowded world. They made music with no real expectation or plan, and it became Powerkompany.  Not knowing where it would go, they produced the muted and mysterious EP "Comfort" trapped at the studio during a rare Georgia snowstorm. This paved the way for the more rambunctious "I Am More Than This," and eventually to the two-part "Fever and Chills" recently completed at Chase Park Studio in collaboration with Andy LeMaster of Bright Eyes and Azure Ray fame. They do not dwell on a particular mood or mental space, but seek the best color for every song.  As such, Powerkompany ranges from calm to agitated, from sparse to lush, and from traditional, familiar elements to the bizarre.  "Fever and Chills" is a way for the duo to highlight their range.  Just as a fever comes twisted with chills, these two sets are two sides of the same experience.  To highlight the split expression, the song Pretty Girl appears on "Chills" as a lusciously dreamy ballad, and again on "Fever" as a defiant tirade entitled "Pretty Girl Wrong." 
On the stage, Powerkompany is a force.  Davon's lead vocal takes front and center from from a soft low to operatically high. Through the experience of adapting to different performance environments, Powerkompany has developed a distinctive voice and presentation.  One reviewer called their show "impressive and telescopic, ranging from Marie's Kate Bush-esque solo act to duet performances where Davon occasionally harmonizes with Heaton's violin, to a full band with dancers and lights resembling a trippy, but strangely more grounded Cirque du Soleil." 

Band Members