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Camera Obscura


Country of origin:

Scotland

Type of music generally:

Indie pop

Status:

Most recent release, Desire Lines (2013)

See also:

Camera Obscura's site

Wikipedia's entry on Camera Obscura

Comparisons:

She & Him, Belle and Sebastian, Stars, Au Revoir Simone

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Their slower songs are sadcore. Their upbeat songs are jangly indie pop, with 60s sounds and surf rock influences. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Recommended first album:

Let's Get Out of This Country or My Maudlin Career

Recordings:


Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi

Release info:

2001

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

A strong debut full of jangly pop, sometimes shiny and happy, sometimes a little sadder. I really enjoy the interplay of the male and female voices, how they trade leads. And I love the final, instrumental track. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Underachievers Please Try Harder

Release info:

2003—Elefant Records/Merge Records—MRG239

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Lee Thomson—drums
Gavin Dunbar—bass
Carey Lander—piano, organ, singing
Kenny McKeeve—guitar, mandolin, harmonica, singing
John Henderson—singing, percussion
Tracyanne Campbell—guitar, singing
Nigel Baillie—trumpet

Produced by:

Camera Obscura and Geoff Allan

Comments:

A sunnier album than Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi. I find the 60s influences stronger here. "Let Me Go Home" even has a little bit straight from the Supremes' "Baby Love". (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of the decade. (christina_skov@hotmail.com)


Let's Get Out of This Country

Release info:

2006—Elefant—ER-1123/Merge Records—MRG276

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Nigel Baillie
Tracyanne Campbell
Gavin Dunbar
Carey Lander
Kenny McKeeve
Lee Thomson

Guest artists:

Bjorn Yttling—string arrangements
Tomas Hallonsten—accordion
Britta Persson—backing vocals
Jari Haapalainen—percussion
Andreas Forsman—violin
Erik Holm—violin
Erik Arvinder—violin
Lena Bergström—cello
Sibille Attar, Victoria Bergsman, Isak Klasson, Markus Krunegard, Britta Persson, Marcella Svensson—open choir on "If Looks Could Kill" and "I Need All the Friends I Can Get"

Produced by:

Jari Haapalainen

Comments:

More orchestrated than Underachievers Please Try Harder, with a stronger, but different, 60s sound. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of the year. (lasherboy@gmail.com, christina_skov@hotmail.com)


My Maudlin Career

Release info:

2009—4AD—CAD2907CD

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Tracyanne Campbell—lead vocals, guitar
Gavin Dunbar—bass guitar
Carey Lander—piano, organ
Kenny McKeeve—guitar, backing vocals
Lee Thomson—drums

Guest artists:

Jari Haapalainen—percussion
Per Johansson—horn
Christopher Ohman—viola
Anna Dager—cello
Stefan Persson—trumpet
Erik Arvinder—violin
Andreas Forsman—violin
Jessica Hugosson—violin
Santiago Jimenez—violin (4, 10)
Britta Persson—backing vocals
Nicolai Dunger—backing vocals (2)
Bjorn Yttling—string & horn arrangements

Produced by:

Jari Haapalainen

Comments:

Here's another artist who sets sad songs to wonderfully upbeat music. The band continues to develop their signature sound on this sublime album—lots of strings and lilting, swooning vocals. A great addition to the band's impressive catalogue. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

My favorite of their albums. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of the year. (christina_skov@hotmail.com)


Desire Lines

Release info:

2013—4AD—CAD3314CD

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Tracyanne Campbell—vocals, guitar
Kenny McKeeve—guitar
Carey Lander—keyboards
Gav Dunbar—bass guitar
Lee Thomson—drums

Guest artists:

Neko Case—backing vocals
Jim James—backing vocals
Paul Brainard—pedal steel guitar
Gilbert Elorreaga—trumpet
Mark V. Gonzales—trombone
Dan Bechdolt—tenor and baritone saxophone
Nathaniel Smith—cello
Jeremy Kittel—strings

Produced by:

Tucker Martine

Comments:

Yet another fantastic album of melancholy pop. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

Another great album. As usual the music is deceptively bright compared to the lyrics. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2014-07-09 16:45:38.
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