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Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career

  by Jamie Rowland

published: 25 / 4 / 2009

Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
Label: 4AD
Format: CD


Melancholic-lyriced, but summery-sounding fourth album from Glasgow-based indie pop act, Camera Obscura

Summer is quickly approaching, so it’s time to put the icy ambience of your winter music collection back in the cupboard and get a summer playlist together. And despite perhaps having some darker moments, I think a great place to start would be with Camera Obscura’s latest album, 'My Maudlin Career'. It’s been 3 years since their last offering, 'Let’s Get Out of This Country', and Tracyanne Campbell’s songwriting and singing voice have never sounded better. It’s easy to see why the band chose opener ‘French Navy’ as the album’s first single; it’s a track which digs its claws into you from the first pound of the drum, and holds on tight for its full three minutes and twenty seconds. After that, there can be no doubt that even the most casual of listener will want to spend as much time as possible filling his or her ears with the rest of what this album has to offer. And what a selection of musical gems it is – particular high points for this writer include the fantastic ‘Swan’, the sweet, soft romance of ‘James’ and the stripped back, hauntingly beautiful ‘Other Towns and Cities’. Tracyanne describes My Maudlin Career’s closing track, ‘Honey in the Sun’, as being “a really sunny song about a less sunny subject”, and this could perhaps be taken as a pretty nice summary of the album as a whole. It’s so often the case when writing songs about heartbreak and romance that the product turns out to be as depressing as meeting your ex’s new wife, but Camera Obscura have dodged this bullet and created an album which, while melancholy, is an absolute pleasure to listen to. If the Beach Boys had formed in Glasgow, this is what they’d sound like.

Track Listing:-
1 French Navy
2 The Sweetest Thing
3 You Told a Lie
4 Away with Murder
5 Swans
6 James
7 Careless Love
8 My Maudlin Career
9 Forests & Sands
10 Other Towns & Cities
11 Honey in the Sun

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Interview (2006)
Camera Obscura - Interview
Camera Obscura are about to celebrate their 10th year as a band. With their new album 'Let's Get Out of This Country' now out, Jamie Rowland speaks to singer Tracyanne Campbell about it and the importance of the internet in their work

live reviews

Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 23/4/2009
Camera Obscura - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 23/4/2009
Chris O' Toole watches Glaswegian pop-ensemble Camera Obscura play a a rewarding, but also strangely downbeat show at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London
Barrymore's, Ottawa, 30/1/2007


French Navy (2009)
Excellent 60's soul-influenced indiepop on latest single from Glaswegian group, Camera Obscura

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