The big catch-up 6: Lavender Diamond

Monday, 23 July 2007, 16:15 | Category : Uncategorized
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In theory, I should hate this band. Which is why I’m glad that I’m judging Lavender Diamond on the quality of their music, not the theory. I heard songs from the Cavalry of Light EP before I knew anything about the band, and was immediately entranced by this beautiful ethereal psychedelic folk music, raised to even greater heights by gorgeous vocals and the band’s ability to slowly but surely work towards euphoric crescendos.

Since hearing the debut EP, I’ve become more aware of this LA quartet, fronted by Becky Stark, who comes across like an objective definition of what a true hippy should be. Dressed in flouncy clothes, pictured with arms extended to the heavens, rapturous glee on her face, making all sorts of pronouncements about peace and love, and coming across as having a real (faux?) naiveté in interviews. Here’s someone who certainly hasn’t been to the school of hard knocks. She gives the impression that she would have loved to have been in LA at the height of the Laurel Canyon heyday. But as it happens, she moved there (from Rhode Island) a whole thirty years too late.

All of which could make their debut album Imagine Our Love seem like so much hippy dippy sap. Even the cover art smacks of that. But in reality, it’s quite magical. It picks up where Cavalry of Light left off, and continues the journey of luscious honey-dripping folk-pop, with Becky’s pure, clear vocals hitting the high notes so perfectly. Somehow they manage to make a lot of a little. I mean, the lyrics aren’t exactly verbose. Simple phrases or lines are repeated over and over, but there are no diminishing returns here. Instead it contributes to some sort of pleasingly familiar refrain which seduces you into thinking that it might be more profound than it seems. All in then, these are hippies that you certainly can trust.

Download: Lavender Diamond – Oh No
Download: Lavender Diamond – When You Wake For Certain

Buy Imagine Our Love (special low price from Rough Trade).

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