Light and airy rhythm tracks propelling pensive lyrics with emotionally personally powerful themes defines Caamp’s latest release, Lavender Girl, raising the band to yet another level of creative success, matching their ever-growing audiences on the touring circuit. Starting with the plea to a potential lover, “Come With Me Now,” through the closing “Sure Of,” where the singer expounds that “the rain has left me standin’ and you can’t be sure of the mornin’,” songwriter Taylor Meier takes us on an internal journey of emotions filled with uncertainty and, simultaneously, resolve.
“Songs can put moments into a chrysalis,” Meier says. “They’re like time capsules and they let you look at those moments from the outside. I’ve always written songs based on real-life experiences, but this record is especially vulnerable. I think it’s a record that reassures you, whatever stage you’re at in your life, that it will be okay. Eventually you look back on these lavender days and take something valuable away from them.”
While it is Meier’s words that tickle the soul, the power they convey is the result of the deft interplay of the pensive lyrics paired with the joyous music created by Meier’s bandmates Evan Westfall, Matt Vinson and Joseph Kavalec. “The boys recognized what this record meant to me,” explains Meier. “So, we had this mission to make it sound as real and as true and as human as possible. These songs wouldn’t have the little intricacies and intimacies and the depth that Evan, Matt, and Joe brought out of them. We’re stronger as a band than we would be by ourselves.”
That strength of collaboration extends to the stage, where Caamp had been establishing themselves as contenders ever since Meier and Westfall first started playing together at college in Athens, OH. Like every other touring band, Caamp was sidelined in March 2020 by the worldwide shut-down but hit the road as soon as it was possible, writing songs at soundcheck and then performing for their music-starved fans in the evening, leading to the 2021 recording of Lavender Days at Sylvan Esso’s studio in Durham, NC, with the experience impacting not only Meier’s lyrics, but his attitude as well.
“I learned a lot and I humbled myself,” he says. “I think I became more patient, and I know I became more vulnerable around my bandmates, my friends and my family. Getting these songs to tape was a huge part of that process of learning and healing.”
That comes across in the final work, with Lavender Days finding huge success at radio with 80 percent of the JBE panel supporting the second single, “The Otter,” including KBCO, WXRV, WXPN, The Current, Lightning 100, KRVB, Indie 102.3, WNRN, WMMM and WAPS.
Photo by Sophia Matinazad