The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - JIM CAR­ROLL

Imag­ine Our Love Rough Trade Laven­der Di­a­mond put their trust in tunes and, by golly, Imag­ine Our Love has tunes ga­lore. While the Los An­ge­les-based quar­tet, fronted by clas­si­cally trained so­prano Becky Stark, have found them­selves lumped in with the freak-folk and new-coun­try ca­bals, it’s the songs on their de­but album rather than any cum­ber­some con­nec­tions that will have you hum­ming. In Stark’s op­er­atic airs, you may well hear echoes of Karen Car­pen­ter ( When You Wake for Cer­tain) and even Em­my­lou Har­ris (the old-timey purr of Side of the Lord) as she helps to turn rel­a­tively straight­for­ward and sim­ple pop songs into wide-eyed an­thems. Even on their own, Stark’s at­trac­tive mantras about life, love and ev­ery­thing in be­tween would be enough to pull you in, but the hyp­notic, con­cise and shin­ing melodies re­ally seal the deal. One of the more strik­ing de­buts of the year. www.laven­der­dia­

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