Lavender Diamond: "Imagine Our Love"
Producer: Thom Monahan
Matador
Release Date: May 15

Folk pop act Lavender Diamond has adopted an organic, back-to-basics approach on its debut full-length, "Imagine Our Love." Frontwoman Becky Stark and her band craft 12 idyllic, heartfelt songs about peace and love set to simple piano, guitar and string arrangements. The real beauty here, though, is Stark's flawless soprano, which at times reaches improbable heights on such songs as "Dance Until Tomorrow." Elsewhere, her vocals are playful and blithe on the handclapping-backed "Open Your Heart" and the '70s folk-leaning "Here Comes One." Slower numbers such as the plaintive "I'll Never Lie Again" and the gently lulling album closer "When You Wake for Certain" find the band exploring its softer side, which, much like the rest of the album, makes for a pleasing aural affair. --Jill Menze

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