Interview: Enjoying the ‘Lavender Days’ with Ohio’s Caamp

CAAMP © Sophia Matinazad
Caamp © Sophia Matinazad
Caamp’s Evan Westfall discuss the creation of the folk band’s third album ‘Lavender Days’, a record filled with songs of nostalgia and finding the beauty in life’s often overlooked in-betweens.
Stream: “Lavender Girl” – Caamp




When you think of the color lavender, you think comfort and confidence. There is a certain calm it brings even within the most chaotic of times. It’s happiness and it’s entirely unique, on an island of its own that brings the most specific of memories and feelings.. It’s a state of mind that Caamp has encapsulated with their latest album Lavender Days.

Lavender Days - CAAMP
Lavender Days – Caamp
I’ve never danced, till I danced with you my love
couldn’t hear the music, but I’m sure it was good stuff
I’ve never sang with a tear falling from my eye
And every time I lose it, oh and I’m not afraid to cry
I’d never spoke to one like you before
told you all my secrets, and you wanted more
I’ve never looked into eyes as clear as yours
and every time I lose it, nothing matters more
– “Lavender Girl,” Caamp

Released June 24, 2022 via By and By Records / Mom + Pop Music, Lavender Days is Caamp’s highly anticipated and long-awaited third studio album, arriving a full three years after 2019’s sophomore LP, By and By. Why lavender?” Caamp’s lead singer Taylor Meier asks. “It’s nostalgic. It can remind you of your grandmother’s perfume or maybe the air freshener in your mom’s car. It can summon up all of these incredible memories and transport you to those in-between days, which I think everybody remembers with more clarity than the big events.”

Caamp © Sophia Matinazad
Caamp © Sophia Matinazad

Lavender Days is filled with songs of nostalgia and finding the beauty in not the big moments of life, but the in-between, which is often taken for granted.

Since their 2016 debut, Caamp have grown in members and in sound. While they always had and still do carry a sound and a feeling that cannot be replicated, with Lavender Days they have caught a groove that not only will keep their loyal listeners coming back for more, but will also be sure to expand their fanbase and catapult their success even further.

I believe in you baby
And I’ll always be around
I believe in you baby
I won’t let you hit the ground
And when that sun shines
Through to the break of dawn
You better grab the keys
And leave the dogs at home, oh
– “Believe,” Caamp

Atwood Magazine sat down with Caamp’s cofounder and resident banjo player Evan Westfall to discuss the creation of Lavender Days, their latest tour, and why he is so excited about the band’s future.

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:: stream/purchase Caamp here ::
Stream: ‘Lavender Days’ – Caamp




A CONVERSATION WITH CAAMP

Lavender Days - CAAMP

Atwood Magazine: First of all, this is such an amazing album. Congratulations on all the success you’ve seen so far. I actually had the chance to see you guys perform last fall in Pittsburgh. It was a great show.

Evan Westfall: Thank you so much! I remember that show, it was a cool little town.

Yes - it was so great. So, there’s a million things I could ask you about the band and your music, but I figure best to just dive right into this latest album. “Come With Me Now” is such a strong song one. From the slow build into the integration of the whole band and then obviously the lyrics saying come with me now, the whole thing is just a perfect setup for the album and so inviting - tell me about that one.

Evan Westfall: Yeah, thank you. Tay had a voice memo of it and we all loved it. We got in the studio and that’s where the halftime count at the end came in – we always knew it was going to be first.



That’s great. It’s such a natural start. “Believe” is such a power-house song; tell me more about that one.

Evan Westfall: Yeah so actually we had been playing around with this song for like 3-4 years. It was our Sound Check song, back when I was even on the drums. It really just came from us jamming and having fun and then Taylor wanted to do it when we got in the studio and it ended up being one of our most fun songs to play.

I believe in you baby
And I’ll always be around
I believe in you baby
I won’t let you hit the ground
When that sun shines
Through to the break of dawn
You better grab the keys
And leave the dogs at home, oh
Abeline, little baby
Know I’ll always be around
Abeline, little baby
I won’t let you hit the ground
When that sun comes
Through to the break of dawn
You better grab the keys
And leave the dogs at home

That’s so cool. I don’t ever think I’ve heard of a song coming out of a sound check.
 

Evan Westfall: Yeah, it’s really cool. It’s a fun one because of that.

Absolutely. So, I love “Light” so much. It’s one of my favorites off the album. The lyrics are incredible, the light picking of the banjo and the little piano melody with the strings interweaved is so great. Tell me about it.

Evan Westfall: Thank you, yeah. There was so much for me to play with there on the Banjo. It was really fun to play around on that one. And then yeah the keys, I think that’s my favorite keys moment from Joe. It’s awesome to see what he’s been able to do and watch him and all of us I feel just get better and better as a band. Yeah that one is a really pretty song, it’s definitely one of my favorites too.



Yes it has the classic CAAMP sound, but just punched up a bit.

Evan Westfall: Thank you so much, yeah.

Lavender Days: How did the title come about? Was it always going to be that? Obviously you have “Lavender Girl” on the album, which is a big focal point, but I'm curious about that.

Evan Westfall: That is more for Taylor to speak to – he was going through something at the time. He wrote this song and when he showed it to us we weren’t making an album at the time, but that’s when we knew we had to get in the studio and build an album around it. So we rented out the studio in North Carolina and started with that one, and yeah, that’s definitely where it all started.



Caamp © Sophia Matinazad
Caamp © Sophia Matinazad

That’s so interesting. I want to talk about “Garden Song” and “Snowshoes.” Both of these songs are so visceral they tell such a good story. They’re more visual and specific than some of your other songs, so I wanted to talk about what led to them.

Evan Westfall: Yeah, so “Garden Song”is actually a really old song. If you go on Youtube you can see us playing it at an open mic.

Wow! I had no idea.

Evan Westfall: Yeah, we felt like the story really fit with the album so we wanted to put it in. Same thing with “Snowshoes,” actually. It was a bit of an older song, but we really built it out and felt like it worked well with the album. It was cool to see what all the guys did with it.

Yes. I love the jam out at the end of “Snowshoes.” Your banjo solo in it is great.

Evan Westfall: Thank you so much! Yeah it’s a good one.



CAAMP © Sophia Matinazad
Caamp © Sophia Matinazad

So if I can SEE “Garden Song” and “Snowshoes,” I can really FEEL “Fever.”

Evan Westfall: Yes exactly. The whole process of writing and recording “Fever” was one of those moments that really excited me for whatever is going to come next. I remember after that session was done just feeling so grateful and looking forward to what was next for the band. It was just one of those special moments that I’ll always remember. It felt like how bands did it in the 70’s. We were all in the studio and brought in some special guests and they all learned it right then and there. We’ve done live takes before, but never quite like this one and it just felt really special.

Hold my shoulder
My garden puller
Yes, child, you are a dreamer all the same
All your wonder
And all you’re learnin’
Will turn it into somethin’ one day
Yes, now rise up like a fever
Yes, and give us a brand-new day
Get up and be strong for you’re already gone
And my darlin’, I’ll be with her once again

It's cool because you guys are by no means a new band, but when I hear a song like this and then the story you tell behind it – It really does make you think if they can put something out like this after all this time - what are they going to do next. It’s exciting to think about.

Evan Westfall: Exactly yeah, thank you. That’s how it felt. We’ve come really far as a band and with this album it’s been awesome to see everyone step up and I’m really excited about where we go next as a band.

I think we all are! One final question: Most fun song to play on this tour?

Evan Westfall: It has to be “Believe” right now. You never know how people are going to react to the new songs, or if you’ll lose some of them when you start playing new stuff, but we seem to get a reaction to “Believe” every time so that’s been fun.

** **

Our conversation ended there as Westfall was set to sound check for Caamp’s show in Seattle. We’ve loved following this band since the beginning, and as alluded to in our conversation, we cannot wait to hear what they do next, but for now – we’re very happy to be enjoying those nostalgic and beautiful Lavender Days.

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:: stream/purchase Caamp here ::



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Lavender Days - CAAMP

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