Mad Men aficionados already know the word “nostalgia” literally means “pain from an old wound”’—how any happiness from past memories is shot through with sadness because those memories come from a place to which we can never return. Lavender Diamond has always been able to perfectly capture that kind of melancholy. Their 2007 record Imagine Our Love took me (and maybe you) back to being seven years old in the back of your parents’ station wagon and thinking that just maybe Karen Carpenter had the most beautiful voice in the whole world. And—mercifully, maybe—not having any idea what the future might bring. It’s been five years since that tiny masterpiece of a release, and after some scattered lcal shows Lavender Diamond are back with an album produced by Damian Kulash from OK GO—which you might remember as the band with the mesmerizing treadmill video—on OK GO’s own Paracadute label. Their brand new Incorruptible Heart is glowing with the same kind of happy-sad feeling as Imagine, and the songs are pop songs dressed up in the flowers and flowing robes of the most optimistic album-oriented rock or AM folk. But now there’s a surprising—and surprisingly natural—kind of Kate Bush synths-and-pulses direction, too: Stand-out “Teach Me How To Waken” is the most remix-ready Lavender Diamond song I’ve ever heard. This record might hurt you, but it’ll heal you at the same time. And instead of reminding you about a place you can never go back to, it might just suggest somewhere new you can explore instead. (Kristina Benson).
Playing at The Echo on Monday, September 17th!