Lavender Diamond

This EP from Los Angeles based Lavender Diamond seems to be creating a frenzy at the moment, first with Matador snapping up the North American rights and then Rough Trade taking Europe. It's not hard to see why - with the band acting as a "a vehicle for the astonishing vocals and buoyant worldview of Becky Stark."

Stark's superb classical vocals give the record a timeless quality that is best compared to something out of NYC's Brill Building in the sixties, probably penned by Carole King. The crisp production and piano-led sound are familiar and engaging, but strangely unlike much of the music around at the moment.

You Broke My Heart (Listen here - Windows Media) is a tight, highly strung number - gently increasing the pressure as it builds up and up, with it's gentle sound hiding the heart-breaking undertone of it's message.

Ballad Please (Listen here - Windows Media) iis the most Carole King-esque of the tracks, with it's distinct, sad nostalgia. Lavender Diamond tread a careful line between the singer-songwriter side of seventies LA and the problem-solving of Andrew Lloyd Webber, but In Heaven There Is No Heat (Listen here - Windows Media) ilands things on the CSNY side of the fence.

Currently supporting the Decemberists on their European tour, the band will have a full length album out in May which I eagerly look forward to.