Every now and then, an album comes along that makes even the most emotionally repressed tough-guy break down and weep about how he’ll die alone, Bridget-Jones style. Without doubt, Lavender Diamond’s second record ‘Incorruptible Heart’ is one of these albums. The opening track ‘Everybody’s Heart’s Breaking Now’ is a stunningly simple track, complete with echoing drums and damning piano chords to accompany Becky Stark’s ethereal vocals. Her voice is adept at communicating the vulnerability that is inevitable and necessary when dealing with matters of the heart. She follows in the footsteps of such vocalists as Eva Cassidy, Sarah McLachlan and Lisa Hannigan, adding her own dulcet tones to this illustrious company.

Heartache is peppered throughout ‘Incorruptible Heart’, and nowhere is this fact more obvious than on ‘Just Passing By’. The track sounds like a more sombre version of ‘Silent Night’, with subtle, sparse instrumentation and Stark at her most mournful, questioning the point of life without love. These elements combine to make a kind of perverse lullaby, and it’s to Lavender Diamond’s credit that they can create such calm out of such turbulence. Elsewhere, ‘Forgive’ pleads with its audience on raw, simple terms, tugging on the heartstrings.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as tracks like ‘Teach Me To Waken’ prove. Stark’s message is one of affirmation and optimism, singing that “love is the beginning, and love is the end”. There is an acceptance and positivity in this message that bleeds through into the defiant rhythms and synths marching on through the track. ‘Light My Way’ takes a slight detour from the laid-back sound of the record, injecting some life in the form of The Bravery-esque electro-pop. The presence of M. Ward on ‘There’s A Perfect Love For Me’ exacerbates the warm fuzzy feeling this track generates, making the song sound like it should be on everyone’s Christmas playlist.

The word ‘beautiful’ may be a hackneyed term in pop music, especially after the overuse of it by James Blunt and co., but beautiful is the only word that can sum up ‘Incorruptible Heart’. It is full of beauty in every way, from the music to the song-writing to Stark’s stunning voice. It communicates an important message, that love may hurt but at least it makes you feel alive. It’s a message often communicated in music, but few do it as well and as simply as Lavender Diamond.

8/10

About The Author

Emma Leahy

Ahoy hoy. I'm an English Literature student at University of Worcester, long-time beard worshipper, occasional bad hat wearer. You will mostly find me listening to Muse, We Are Scientists, Wild Beasts, School of Seven Bells, Death Cab For Cutie, Everything Everything, Friendly Fires, and lots more. Twitter: @the_leahy92