Lavender Days

Caamp

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Lavender Days Review

by James Christopher Monger

2019's By & By saw Columbus, Ohio's Caamp deliver an agreeable and often affecting set of neighborly indie folk ditties that bounded weightlessly across multiple branches of American roots music. Very little has changed, at least stylistically, in the Caamp camp with album number three. Like a slice of warm apple pie, Lavender Days provides copious amounts of affirmation and comfort, even at its most wistful. The opener/intro "Come with Me Now" sticks with a simple two-chord melody that builds to a soft crescendo that showcases the group's impeccable harmonies, which are bolstered throughout the LP by special guests Nathaniel Rateliff and Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield. It's a blueprint that Caamp adhere to dogmatically throughout Lavender Days' 12 often indistinct pieces. Mellower and more sonically streamlined than its predecessor, the album leans hard into the group's breezy West Coast folk-pop predilections, with each track unfolding with ease and gentle care -- even Taylor Meier's gruff cadence feels softened. Still, Evan Westfall's tasteful banjo playing allows the band to keep one foot in the Ohio River Valley, and songs like the bustling, Black Crowes-inflected "Believe" and the bubbling country-folk confections "Appletree Blues" and "The Otter" come off as likeably formulaic rather than perfunctory. Songs of love, hope, loss, and heartache are ubiquitous for a reason, and Meier and Westfall are, without a doubt, adept interpreters of the familiar.

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