well, if you’re anything like me, you’ll prob’ly buy this due to the lush cover art and remarkably fitting title. and like the cover art, this band’s sound includes a particularly specialised palette featuring contrasting and dreamy hallucinatory swirls amongst the finer lines.
camera obscura are into the swirling, string-laden melancholy melange formerly carried off by fellow scots belle and sebastian, and sorta like the arrangements of our own candy-striped brunettes, their bittersweet sense of humour drips with an irony occasionally maligned and malicious but always delicious.
now, i fuckin hate phil spector for what he did to that otherwise great band (that’s what he should really be locked up for), but for some reason this ear-candy is remarkably easy to swallow despite it’s obvious influences from mr “24 more tracks of strings”.
standouts for me include ‘away with murder’ with so many clever plays on words rolling together the little deaths of drugs, love and heartbreak and sparking them up with catchy choruses spiked with fiddles.. yes, FIDDLES. also the curiously warped title track and the generally reverbed-out waves of cavernous chamber music which accompany each see-sawing tune. camera obscura will give you flashbacks of times you’ve never seen and places you’ll never live.
if the pixies had a trade-mark “loud-quite-loud” then these guys do a trademark “exhale-blackout-gasp back to life and thank your lucky stars you’re not dead yet”. so if you like your hits clean and your comedowns sunbeam-saturated, by all means dip a toe into this nectar-bath of tunes so topsy turvy you’re never sure whether they’re lifting you up or just letting you down gently.
on ‘my maudlin career” camera obscura capture that shaky sensation that you may have nearly killed yourself again, whether it be dancing the morning to death or working your days away– yet you can’t help but feel a teensy bit glad you’re still here.
“how many times have you told me you wanna die?”
– ‘away with murder’
MP3: Camera Obscura – my maudlin career (right click then “save as”)
:: nurse nos