Lavender Diamond — Now Is the Time (Dec. 4, 2020)

USA FLAG                                                                         Lavender Diamond — Now Is the Time (Dec. 4, 2020) Lavender Diamond — Now Is the Time (Dec. 4, 2020)♦  Prosluněné, téměř dětinské folk~rockové kvarteto v Los Angeles, které vede zpěvačka, skladatelka a herečka Becky Stark. Lyricky do projektu vnikly vlivy, které jsou známé z výchovy malého dítěte a postaraly se o patřičné životní prostředí, díky čemuž se Stark dostala do reflexivního, ale jistě optimistického režimu. Lavender Diamond, trio Becky Stark, Steve Gregoropoulos a Ron Regé, Jr. mají tedy venku jejich první nové album po 8 letech po „Incorruptible Heart“. Celé album napsala a produkovala Lavender Diamond. Tucker Martine zvládl mix na Flora Recording & Playback (Portland, Oregon). Na 11~ti písňovém LP hostují Nathaniel Walcott z Bright Eyes, SASAMI a bývalý kytarista Red Hot Chili Peppers Josha Klinghoffera. „Těsně před naší současnou bouří katastrofy k nám tyto písně přitékaly,“ uvedla zpěvačka Becky Stark ve svém prohlášení. „Jsou jako léčivé písně pro svět v krizi. Krize dává hlubokou příležitost k uzdravení a transformaci. Nyní je ta nejzávažnější doba, jakou jsme kdy poznali, abychom náš svět transformovali, vybudovali spravedlnost, mír a prosperitu pro všechny tím, že budeme žít v harmonii a s láskou k zemi, ztělesňující moudrost, rovnost a úctu ke všem.“ Dodala: „Došla jsem k poznání, že v samotné hudbě existuje lék. Může to lidi pozvednout, uzdravit a nasměrovat k transformaci, což mě vedlo k této nesmírně silné potřebě začít znovu psát a nahrávat.“ K tomu dodávám, že lidé sami mír prosadit nemohou. Bez Boha. To tvrdili první lidé celých 6.000 let a nikdy to nedokázali. To však neznamená, že míru nedosáhnou. 

Lavender Diamond — Now Is the Time (Dec. 4, 2020)♦  Lavender Diamond, the trio of Becky Stark, Steve Gregoropoulos, and Ron Regé, Jr., have announced their first new album in 8 years: Now Is the Time arrives December 4 via Petaluma. The group have previewed the record with a new song called ‘This Is How We Rise’. Check it out below, and scroll down for the album’s cover artwork and tracklist.
♦  Now Is the Time was written and produced by Lavender Diamond. Tucker Martine handled the mixing at Flora Recording & Playback in Portland, Oregon. The 11~track LP features contributions from Bright Eyes’ Nathaniel Walcott, SASAMI, and former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer.
♦  “Right before our current storm of catastrophe these songs came pouring in to us,” vocalist Becky Stark said in a statement. “These songs of healing for a world in crisis. Crisis holds profound opportunity for healing and transformation. Now is the most powerful time we have ever known to transform our world and to build justice peace and prosperity for all by living in harmony and with love for the earth, embodying the wisdom of equality and respect for all.”
♦  She added: “I came to this realization that there’s medicine in the music itself. It can lift people up and heal them and point them toward transformation, and that led me to this tremendously powerful need to start writing and recording again.”Lavender Diamond — Now Is the Time (Dec. 4, 2020)
Location: Providence, Rhode Island ~ Los Angeles, California
Album release: December 4, 2020
Record Label: Petaluma Records
Duration:     41:52
01. Look Through the Window   3:07
02. This Is How We Rise   2:37
03. In the Middle   4:00
04. In the Garden   2:50
05. Flashback   2:33
06. Now Is the Time   3:31
07. Ocean and Ground   3:35
08. New Religion   5:06
09. Straight Through the Night   4:00
10. Please Plant the Seeds   5:56
11. Calling on My Nation   3:37
♦  Mix: Flora Recording & Playback, Portland, ORLavender Diamond ©Eden BaktiAllMusic Review by Heather Phares. Score: ★★★★ 
♦  Though Lavender Diamond were on hiatus for most of the 2010s, they couldn’t have timed their return more perfectly. Darkness, frustration, and cynicism reached a peak in the years that followed 2012’s Incorruptible Heart; with the hopeful, creative pop of 2020’s Now Is the Time, Becky Stark and company offer an antidote. While many other artists were commenting on and decrying the issues Lavender Diamond confront on these songs, the band present them in a strikingly different way than their contemporaries. If possible, they sound less bound to musical trends than ever. If you squinted, the openhearted musings of 2007’s Imagine Our Love were tangentially similar to the freak~folk of the 2000s, while Incorruptible Heart polished those musings into indie pop anthems.
♦  Aside from “Calling on My Nation,” the moody call to arms that closes the album, Now Is the Time seems to have emerged from a parallel musical universe. The emotional purity of singer/songwriter pop from the late 1960s and early ’70s is still a mainstay of their music; on “Through the Window,” the spine~tingling interplay of strings and Stark’s vocals calls to mind Chelsea Girl~era Nico. This time, however, their music goes further back, evoking the power of traditional folk and hymnal music to move hearts, as on “Straight Through the Night,” where sleigh bells, piano, and Stark’s warm soprano come together with sweetly insistent conviction.
♦  Though Lavender Diamond’s messages on Now Is the Time are clear, they’re rarely loud. Instead, they make the most of intimate performances with a small but distinctive palette. “In the Garden” floats along on trumpet flourishes, while the castanets on “Flashback” add a theatricality that only heightens the authenticity of Stark’s singing. She has the perfect voice for delivering deeply heartfelt sentiments, whether it’s “please plant the seeds of peace with me” on “Please Plant the Seeds” or “each love is full/each love is real/I know there’s a way for us to heal” on the ecologically themed “Ocean and Ground.” Since the beginning, Lavender Diamond have called for peace, love, and understanding, and Now Is the Time feels both patient and urgent. On “This Is How We Rise” and “In the Middle,” the band sing the praises of idealism and resilience, while “New Religion”‘s sunny art~pop proves that sometimes a dose of unabashed optimism is just what’s needed.
♦  Filled with songs for healing, dreaming, and seizing a moment and making it better, Now Is the Time speaks to its era — and Lavender Diamond’s enduring strengths — eloquently.
BY STEPHEN OLIVER ⌊NOVEMBER 30TH, 2020⌋ Score: 3.5/5