Glasgow, Scotland's Camera Obscura have been making sentimental indie kids swoon for over a decade now. During this time, the band has released three highly acclaimed full length albums...though it's been three years since last their fans heard from them. Good news though, as these indie-pop darlings are finally set to release their latest batch of cutesy love ballads entitled My Maudlin Career on brand new label home, 4AD.
Led by Tracyanne Campbell's beautiful coo, Camera Obscura, as they have always done throughout their career, present a collection of songs that are right on point. Staying true to their bittersweet brand, My Maudlin Career is full of string heavy retro-pop songs designed to tug at the listener's heart strings. Lyrically, the album is rife with cute stanzas about love and lack there of. On "You Told a Lie" Campbell sings, "Are my eyes the coldest blue?/You said once this was true/ If it is I don't know what I'll do/ Cause I'm stuck with them/and they're stuck on you." Along with the elegant "French Navy", this is probably the album's stand-out track.
For those unfamiliar, the word maudlin refers to something that is foolishly sentimental. It makes perfect sense then that Camera Obscura have titled their album, My Maudlin Career, as the album contains a wide array of songs ranging from sappy to just plain sad. While the album is an apparent description of Campbell's career as a hopeless romantic, on the album's title track, Campbell concludes by singing, "This maudlin career has come to an end/ I don't want to be sad again." If it is this foolish sentimentality that has inspired so many of Camera Obscura's best songs, maybe this maudlin career she sings off shouldn't come to end just yet. - Greg Lozoff