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A dreamy and delicate listening experience, Lavender Diamond’s second full-length album, Incorruptible Heart, is a record that cradles listener’s ear drums. The four person band originating from Los Angeles creates a gentle sound that combines indie, folk, pop, and electronic music. Fronted by Becky Stark’s strangely ethereal vocals, Incorruptible Heart is made up of twelve tracks that fit together like whimsical puzzle pieces, culminating in an album that is both enchanting and charming.
Opening track “Everybody’s Heart’s Breaking Now” is a slow, meandering tune that creeps in with a quiet keyboard and electronic effects, falling more on the melancholy side. But even in the depressing content, the lyrics and instrumental accompaniment remain simple as Stark croons, “Oh, everybody’s heart’s breaking now/And you feel the world is ending somehow.” It’s simply stated, but that doesn’t stop it from being a sentiment that can resonate with listeners.
“I Don’t Recall,” the third track, also features the piano but is significantly catchier, with snapping fingers and drums providing a repetitive beat for listeners to bob along to. It sounds more upbeat and lighthearted, but still the lyrics recall heartbreak. It would seem that heartbreak is a theme of this CD, as the lyrics of the majority of the tracks feature Stark’s vocals delivering lyrics that are caught up on past loves or relationships gone awry. Don’t be mislead, though—sure, an album dealing with heartbreak is nothing new, but the fresh presentation is what makes Incorruptible Heart able to pull it off.
Lavender Diamond is no one trick pony, though. “Light My Way,” the seventh track on the CD, is dripping sunshine. The piano is abandoned as the band delves into their more electronic side. Significantly more poppy than the preceding tracks, the tune would sound out of place on the album were it not for Becky Stark’s recognizable singing reminding the listener that, Yes, this is the same band that just spent the first half of the CD lamenting lost loves, but here is some infectious pop to make up for that. It’s a pleasant, sunny song that is placed well to shake up the mood of the album. That isn’t to say, of course, that the mellower, sadder tracks aren’t as enjoyable to listen to, but it’s a nice surprise to see a band swing from a more melancholy place to a song that is so catchy and bubbly.
“Light My Way” is the turning point for Incorruptible Heart. The second half of the CD seems to take on a much more positive outlook, as both “Oh My Beautiful World” and “Perfect Love” have much more upbeat sounds and promise to be songs that get stuck in your head, or just on repeat on your iTunes.
The final track, “All the Stars,” showcases Stark’s broad vocal range as she sounds almost operatic over the guitar and drums; the song brings the CD full-circle as it is a perfect blend of the first half of the album and the second. It marries the electronic to the indie/folk, and is a powerful, beautiful song to end the album while still maintaining the simplicity that is present throughout all of the tracks.
In fact, one could argue that the simplicity of Lavender Diamond is what contributes to the success of the band. There’s no intricate wordplay or excessive instrumental experimentation; it’s a unique sound but in the most genuine way; the dreamy effect of the music strikes the listener as effortless. The openness of the lyrics combined with her talent paint Stark as accessible and endearing. She is the front woman that people fall in love with, and Lavender Diamond’s Incorruptible Heart is sure to be an album that people fall in love with, too.