Ohio-based folk-rock outfit Caamp releases their latest album, Lavender Days, whose title was inspired by life’s “small pleasures and forgotten disappointments.”
Made up of Evan Westfall, Taylor Meier, Matt Vinson, and Joseph Kavalec, Caamp’s genesis occurred when Taylor Meier and Evan Westfall met at summer camp. Later, they graduated from Upper Arlington High School, followed by Meier performing in local venues when not attending classes at Ohio University. Eventually, the two joined forces, followed by adding Vinson and Kavalec.
In 2016, Caamp released their self-titled debut album, then in 2019, they dropped By and By, comprising indie-rock flavours. With each successive album, their sound remains familiar but keeps evolving. On Lavender Days, they capture the essence of America’s Midwestern centre.
Encompassing a dozen tracks, entry points on the album include “Believe,” which opens on a funk-lite rhythm topped by Americana-flavored guitars. A poignant, high tenor and softly glowing harmonies give the lyrics passionate tones.
“The Otter” travels on a lightly strumming platinum-coloured guitar, followed by luminous banjo accents. A thumping, sprightly rhythm imbues the tune with a contagious, bouncing cadence as velvety vocals with a bit of scraping infection infuse the lyrics with delicious timbres. “I am floating in deep water, like the unfamiliar otter / In love with someone’s daughter.”
Low-slung and flickering with banjo accents, “Light” blends subdued lyrics and melancholy vocals with a nimble, upbeat melody, thus giving the song a bifurcated feel. “What lights you up / What makes your blood run cold.”
The title track, perhaps one of the best tracks, features layered banjos and guitars, forming a scrumptious, Dan Fogelberg-like tune teeming with ardent vocals. While “Fever” switches things up a bit, offering bluesy guitars and lyrics conveying the dark corners of intermittent depression. Vocal harmonies from Nathaniel Rateliff and Katie Crutchfield add lush, blooming tones.
The final track, “Sure Of,” showcases a gentle guitar and moody, whispery vocals, infusing the song with sad savours of reminiscence. With Lavender Days, Caamp offers sumptuous washes of Americana, rasping vocals, and affecting melodies.