Lavender Diamond - The Cavalry of Light (LDR) by Eric Nielsen 01.24.07
When Lavender Diamond played Jim Bell's space in OB last year (before the ABC came in and ruined the greatest art house space in OB) my wife came home and couldn't stop gushing about the stage presence of lead singer Becky Stark. I guess some of that magic worked for Matador as well since they are putting out a Lavender Diamond disc this Spring. They're also re-releasing this EP on Rough Trade. The Decemberists are taking them on tour to Europe this Winter. In Heaven There Is No Heat sounds like it fits like a sister to the brother, The Decemberists. Especially when it breaks into the chorus of "Dream the kind of a life that you will find, the kind of love that lasts forever." So, there's the pedigree.
Do you seek a quiet whispery beautiful nymph that sings in the shower and pleases and soothes all your sorrows? Do you long for the sultry soft soprano singing of optimistic California new folk? Do you also call in the Cavalry of Light when your heart is broken? Cavalry saddles up with the Cat Power and Neko Case stuff as far as the vocals go. If you like that sort of stuff (and it seems like most do) this is for you.
This is a short EP of four songs and comes in at about 16 minutes. Recorded in LA in January of '05 this disc is out of print until the Rough Trade deal comes through. The music sits in the neo folk west coast hippie genre that so confuses, overwhelms, mystifies and mesmerizes the east coast.
There are some great music box strings and steady piano arrangements for the voice to butterfly around. There are some great ambient, organic bell sounds on You Broke My Heart as Becky goes on with the mantra in an ever rising emotional destruction that sounds like it will break yet continues higher and higher with the bells, the bells of camouflaged insanity. You know that artistic razor of sanity and salvation sung at the high end, yet it's also refreshing and hopeful.