You broke my heart
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 01/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If bands had siblings, then Lavender Diamond would be the sweeter, starry-eyed little sister of Midlake.
And that's a pretty hefty compliment for this enchanting little Angeleno band, with its cheery folky-poppy sound, weird costumes and soaring vocals from Becky Stark. Not many bands can make rich, lush chamberpop of the kind in "The Cavalry of Light."
It opens with a tripping piano melody, joined in by a tambourine and a softly plucked guitar. Mashed together, it makes a sunny, sweet little melody. And over it, Stark sings "you broke my heart" in a remarkably cheerful manner. She soars higher and higher as the song goes on, with the music flowing stolidly under her.
"Please" takes a less dramatic approach, with a warm mingling of piano and strings. ?In Heaven There is No Heat? is a catchier piece of work, with a shimmeringly simple musical accompaniment. Finally there's the exquisite "Rise in the Springtime," a rich pastoral ballad full of orchestral strings and trickling piano. "We're meant to see/the dawn of sky/and so we rise/into the sun..." Stark sings hopefully.
"The Cavalry of Light" could easily have been syrupy, cloying or kitschy. Could have been, but isn't -- probably because it sounds incredibly heartfelt, almost like a hymn rather than a pop song.
So as a result, it just sounds like a sunny day out with friends in the countryside, enjoying the beauty of the world.The music has lots of piano, soaring strings and a ripple of guitar; the melodies are simple, but that is part of their charm.
Stark's voice is really a treasure -- high, sweet, and childlike, but with a glorious range. Even better, she can sing lines like, "Dream the kind of life that you will find/ That kind of love that lasts forever" without sounding twee.
Lavender Diamond is an exquisite little band, with their springtime folk-chamberpop sound. Keep your eye on this one.
mlm | austin, tx | 09/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a reissue of the 2005 Lavender Diamond by their new label, Matador. This is an excellent four song EP featuring strong vocals by Becky Stark. Lavender Diamond makes raw, simple pop songs. Some of the string and piano arrangements remind me of Sufjan Stevens.
The opening title track is the strongest on the EP and her vocals remind of classics like Carole King and has some nice piano. Please (track 2) is a much quieter track with delicate, fragile, airy but deep vocals with light piano and strings. In Heaven There is No Heat (track 3) is a lovely indie pop love song that really grows on you and will get stuck in your head. Rise in the Springtime (track 4) is a pretty nice string heavy track reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens."