The debut album from Los Angeles-based Lavender Diamond is a tour-de-force of gorgeous melody and uplifting sentiment. Led by the shining, charismatic spirit Becky Stark, Lavender Diamond bring a punk-rooted DIY aesthetic to their enormously entertaining and heartfelt - and vaguely subversive - blend of 60s enthusiasm and 70s-style songwriting. Produced by Thom Monahan (Pernice Brothers, Devendra Banhart), Imagine Our Love pulls together elements of folk, pop, country, performance art, children's music, and protest anthems to make one of the most original musical statements we've heard in years.
Lavender Diamond began in 2003 as a character Becky created for a traveling operetta. As a solo artist, she released a 7" single and full-length CD (both long out of print). 2004 saw Becky playing country songs with guitarist Jeff Rosenberg (who left the band shortly after recording this album), classical arias and tin pan alley tunes with pianist Steve Gregoropoulos, and voice and drum psychedelic doo-wop with drummer Ron Rege Jr.; she proposed they all unite and form one band together, and Lavender Diamond as we know it was born. In 2005, they released The Cavalry Of Light EP (re-released by Matador in January 2007), which features the live favorite "You Broke My Heart," a series of vocal and piano crescendos that burns itself into your brain with its persistence and simplicity.
Becky Stark started singing in church, studied classical singing as a teenager, and first performed at a rock concert with the children's choir at the Moscow Music Peace Festival in 1989, opening for the band Skid Row. She studied Semiotics and Russian literature at Brown University and left before graduating to join the Merce Cunningham Dance Conservatory. She eventually landed in LA, where she found a wildly broad-minded musical community and vibrant theater, film, and comedy scenes. Ron is a noted cartoonist, illustrator and author of the classic graphic novel "Skibber Bee-Bye." His artwork adorns the CD cover and booklet. Steve is a classical composer, and among other feats, played in Boston band The Wild Stares and composed a full-length ballet for the Oscar Wilde story "The Selfish Giant".
Though Becky's influences range from Prince to Linda Ronstadt to Lightning Bolt, her songs have the immediacy of nursery rhymes or church music. Her crystalline soprano soars over rhythmic, insistent piano-guitar-drums instrumentation which is striking for both its rawness and its orchestral sweep. By turns celebratory ("Open Your Heart", "Here Comes One"), plaintive ("I'll Never Lie Again", "When You Wake For Certain"), playful ("Garden Rose," "My Shadow Is A Monday"), and stunningly mantric ("Like An Arrow", "Oh No"), Imagine Our Love carries a common message of hope, change, thinking with your heart, and the unique emotional power of music.