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Recorded in two different studios in Stockholm in less than a fortnight with mad pixie Jari Haapalainen jumping up and down making us work harder. There are lots of guitars, a drum kit found in a skip, a magnificent crackly Hammond and more shakers, maracas and handclaps than a particularly large primary school music room.
Camera ObscuraCamera Obscura formed in Glasgow in 1996, releasing a slew of singles leading up to their debut CD Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi (2001, UK). The band slowly built up a loyal following in their native land, including the likes of legendary BBC DJ John Peel, who championed the band early on. Merge Records released Camera Obscura's U.S. debut, Under Achievers Please Try Harder in the winter of 2004. Indie pop fans across North America quickly became hooked on Camera Obscura's lovely, enchanting melodies and undeniable hooks. The band embarked on their first tour of the States in the Summer of 2004, and new fans were converted across the nation. Merge reissued Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi in the fall of 2004.In the fall of 2005, Camera Obscura traveled to Stockholm to begin work on a new album with acclaimed producer Jari Haapalainen (The Concretes, Ed Harcourt, Nicolai Dunger, International (Noise) Conspiracy). Influenced by a wide variety of heroes - from Jimmy Webb to Lloyd Cole, from Connie Francis to Skeeter Davis, from the Supremes to David Lynch - lead singer/songwriter Traceyanne Campell and crew have assembled a remarkable batch of new songs. Decidely upbeat, optimistic and catchy at times ("If Looks Could Kill", "Lloyd I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken"), while also beautifully romantic, quiet and reflective at others ("Country Mile", "Dory Previn"), the new album - Let's Get Out Of This Country - is the sound of a wonderful young band just hitting their stride. Look for it from Merge Records in June 2006.
...frontwoman Tracyanne Campbell taps into the sad undercurrent in the songs of Lloyd Cole and Connie Francis, giving the 10 songs she's written for Let's Get Out Of This Country a singular vision. Backed by the lush, atmospheric arrangements, standout tracks like "Country Mile" and lead single "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" run from devastating to arch, all while capturing the same desire to flee from a love gone wrong. While the songs are undeniably beautiful and even fun, the music provides a vital balance to the album's substantial thematic heft, and it's that combination that makes Let's Get Out Of This Country one of the year's best pop albums.
The Onion (A.V. Club)
And the award for most-improved artist of 2006 goes to...Camera Obscura. For the longest time, the band couldn't release an album without getting compared to its fellow Glaswegian outfit Belle And Sebastian. And it didn't help that they sounded an awful lot like Belle And Sebastian with a female vocalist (or, more accurately, with a better Isobel Campbell) and dealt in the same '60s reference points...It sounds looser, sharper, and more adventurous, rolling out the best horn-burnished retro-pop it's ever produced alongside curveballs like the country weeper "Dory Previn." Singer Tracyanne Campbell sounds more winning than ever...
Deeply romantic and just as melancholy.
An album full of majestic pop tunes in their absolute truest form.
Under The Radar
A gorgeous pop album, to say the least.
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