House Of Stark
Immediately add Lavender Diamond’s latest album, Incorruptible Heart, to your fall playlists. Singer Becky Stark’s croons are easy on the ear, and her lyrics sway listeners from poignant empathy to overflowing joy and back again. Incorruptible Heart, a collection of one woman’s ponderings and revelations about love and life, jumps out of a backdrop of several genres. With piano ballads one minute and dance anthems another, the record features a variety of sounds: ukuleles, keyboards, and ethereal Florence + The Machine-worthy power are delicately woven throughout fourteen tracks.
LD blends folk songwriting into upbeat and poppy grooves, and the lyrics solidify this successful marriage. “Love is going strong/Love is living long/Love, like a song, is waiting to be found/Waiting to be sung,” coo Stark and her male backups, pianist Steve Gregoropoulos and guitarist Jeffrey Rosenberg. Like a 21st century hippie chick, Stark’s vocals effortlessly fly between high and low while preaching love, learning, and peaceful coexistance. She particularly shines on torch song “I Don’t Recall,” like a soprano Amy Winehouse with Zooey Deschanel sweetness.
In addition to the vocals, Incorruptible Heart’s instrumentation deserves as much high praise. “Light My Way” showcases more than just Lavender Diamond’s frontwoman. Drummer Ron Regé Jr.’s pop beats, combined with Gregoropoulos’ syncopated keyboard, incite unabashed, uncontrollable toe-tapping. This is a perfect example of LD’s folk-pop hybrid sound. Stark celebrates mighty, illuminating love as the band adds a danceable layer, making the song applicable to multiple contexts. The track could just as easily be heard at a hipper-than-thou underground nightclub as on local radio waves.
Lavender Diamond clearly stride away from their chilled-out past. Incorruptible Heart pushes the band leaps and bounds beyond their previous niche of cute-but-forgettable acoustic folk. Together, Stark and friends create a beautiful project for listeners to love amidst autumn leaves and beyond.