Lavender Diamond with very special guests John C. Reilly & Tom Brosseau

Lavender Diamond with very special guests John C. Reilly & Tom Brosseau

Produced by OK GO's Damian Kulash, Jr., mixed by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT) and featuring strings by the Calder Quartet, Lavender Diamond's Incorruptible Heart is a sublime, soaring art-pop record. Pop in the biggest sense of the word — a record made for everyone - more songs in the cosmic key of love.

Incorruptible Heart matches Stark's angelic, multi-octave voice with a dynamic range of styles. The eclectic spectrum includes a song for belting out the blues ("I Don't Recall"); for the dreamscape of dawn ("Teach Me How to Waken"); for the end of the world ("Everybody's Heart's Breaking Now"); for reconnecting with the world ("Forgive"); for the edge of the Void (the desolate "Come Home"); and a song for a choir of angels ("Oh My Beautiful World").

On top of that, the record also features an unexpected dance number, calling to mind the magic of Giorgio Moroder & Donna Summer ("Light My Way"). "Perfect Love," a silly, unapologetic lovesong, features guitar work by M. Ward, vocals by producer Damian Kulash, and tap-dancing rhythmic accompaniment by Stark. The album's epic, psychedelic landscape closes with the sweeping anthem "All the Stars."

Like the album's central theme and title, the songs themselves often transform from frailty to strength or grace. Working with Kulash and Fridmann, Lavender Diamond—singer Becky Stark, classical composer Steve Gregoropolous on piano, cartoonist Ron Regé, Jr. on drums and Jeff Rosenberg on guitar—transcend genre, song form and style by finding the simple, perfect core of each song.

Incorruptible Heart is Los Angeles-based Lavender Diamond's third release, following 2004's The Cavalry of Light EP and 2007's Imagine Our Love LP (produced by Thom Monahan - Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, Pernice Brothers). Both recordings were critically acclaimed and earned the band a devoted following of fans and admirers.

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In the interim, Stark joined the Decemberists for a year, singing the role of Margaret on their concept album The Hazards of Love and subsequent tours. Stark also toured with Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward as part of She & Him; performs and records with John C. Reilly (their 7-inch single was produced by Jack White for his Third Man Records label in 2011); made the Living Sisters' debut album Love to Live with L.A. singer-songwriter friends Inara George and Eleni Mandell, for which Michel Gondry directed the comedic disaster video for "How Are You Doing?"; wrote choral music for the fantasy film City of Ember; and acted in several films, including a lead role in Flood Streets, a post-Katrina New Orleans drama with Harry Shearer. Stark also conceived and co-founded the beloved L.A. Ladies Choir. More recently Stark has formed the band Courage with comedian, actress and musician Charlyne Yi (House, Knocked Up and Paper Heart). Stark is also a co-creator of Worldword, an animation series with healing and uplifting messages, premiering on MTV for the upcoming revival of Liquid Television.

Since Imagine Our Love, Steve Gregoropolous has composed his second symphony, a second serenade for strings and a piece of choral music. He continues to perform with his band W.A.C.O. and is a member of The Grabs with singer Eleni Mandell and original Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison.

Ron Regé, Jr., who designs Lavender Diamond's art – including Incorruptible Heart's cover - has recently completed The Cartoon Utopia, a150-page illustrated textbook on the nature of the sacred mysteries, to be published by legendary comics imprint Fantagraphics Books in the fall of 2012.

Jessica Pratt

“To say that Jessica Pratt is an old soul would be a vast understatement,” says Jenn Pelly of Pitchfork. “The young San Francisco singer/songwriter’s deeply intimate folk sounds so sincerely cast in from the 1960s that it’s hard to believe she didn’t release a proper LP during that period of time.” Pratt’s spooky and seductive self-titled debut is the inaugural release on Tim (White Fence) Presley’s new imprint, Birth Records. “I never wanted to start a label,” Presley says, “but there issomething about her voice I couldn’t let go of.”

Pratt’s debut release includes recordings from over the last five years, and steady advances in sophistication of recording and melody are evident throughout. To the artist, the record is a time-lapse document of discovery, both musical and personal. But in strangers’ hands, Pratt’s debut is another kind of discovery altogether. A fully-formed emerald artifact dug up cobwebby and cold but no less green for its time spent buried. Sun-bleached and sounding a thousand years old, Pratt’s debut is arrestingly brand dazzling new, and watch how the lights in your living room go soft and yellow when you put it on.”

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