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Show Review

Camera Obscura is Latin for "dark room, a seemingly ill-fitting nickname for a wonderfully quirky pop ensemble. Perhaps it refers to the gadget of the same name, a device built for projecting an image of its' surroundings. The analogy only seems to work if its surrounded by happy-go-lucky fans, because that was the projection we saw the night we captured them at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

These Glasgow based veterans have been playing together since 1996 (some might consider this over the hill, according to indie-speak). The longevity of their career is probably due to their timeless tunes...a charming collection of well-crafted pop that elicits smiles in even the grumpiest of faces. They have released four full lengths and their most recent album My Maudlin Career dropped last spring. For the set list, the band covered songs spanning their whole discography, a nice move considering the Mars Volta attitude of many of today's long-running acts (Quote: "If you came to hear our old material, f**k it, we're over it").

They churned out early tracks like "80's Fan" and "Pen and Notebook" like it was yesterday. Their most recent singles, like the wonderful "French Navy" and the also pretty good "Honey in the Sun" made appearances as well. Front woman Traceyanne Campbell (who has admitted to suffering from stage fright) sounded lovely (and not at all frightened) throughout the set of pleasantries. Saccharine, lilting, and always tinged with a hint of melancholy, these Scottish brogues are sure to be music to your ears. - Amelia Trask

Artist Bio

With John Peel as an early champion, Glasgow's Camera Obscura are fondly regarded by many as one of the UK's finest acts; having built up over the years a dedicated following with must-have records and tours throughout Europe, USA, Mexico, Australia and South East Asia. Their last album, Let's Get Out Of This Country (2006), was to prove pivotal for the band, taking them out of the shadows and to long-deserved new heights. You might not find heartache as enchanting as this anywhere else, stated All Music Guide in a familiar glowing review.

Nearly three years on from that release and Camera Obscura are ready to release the follow-up, My Maudlin Career; their first for their new label (the legendary indie, 4AD) and fourth overall. After his successful touches on their last record, they returned to Sweden to work again with Swedish producer Jari Haapalainen (Ed Harcourt, Peter, Bjorn & John, The Concretes). His wonderful understanding with the band continues to flourish, again fully realizing not just the potential of Tracyanne Campbell's songs and remarkable voice, but also the ensemble musicianship of the group as a whole.

Speaking for the first time about My Maudlin Career, lead singer Tracyanne Campbell commented, "Some people who have heard it say it's intense and quite dark. I suppose it is in a way. We were even more open and brave when making it than we were with the last record. I've never been so brutal when its come to writing lyrics. I wouldn't even call them lyrics. Just documentation of what was going on with me for a while. I truly believe it's the best we've done so far."

Prior to releasing the album, comes the single, 'French Navy', out a week before the album on April 13th. You won't have to wait until then to hear new music though as the new album's title track is available to hear on both the band's website and MySpace page now. It is also being gifted as a free download for those who sign up to the band's new mailing list and for sale from iTunes.

Finally, the quick will have already spotted that they have already announced two warm-up shows in March (London and New York) and that they are playing at this year's SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. However, not announced until today is the news that the band will play a hometown show at Glasgow Barrowlands Ballroom and a return to the capital with a Shepherds Bush Empire headline show.


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Camera Obscura

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