Over the past twenty or so years it seems that most of the music to have made it across the pond from Scotland has been enchanting, musical and incredibly infectious. From Teenage Fanclub, Cocteau Twins and Aztec Camera – going back a few years – to Belle and Sebastian, Snow Patrol and Franz Ferdinand today, what seems consistent is that they all seem to possess a knack for crafting perfect pop songs in whatever genre they are working in.
The latest by Camera Obscura, features ten shimmering songs that alternate between quiet countrified ballads and toe-tapping pop romps. Largely carried by the gorgeous vocals and smart lyrics of Tracyanne Campbell, Camera Obscura flirts, upon initial listening, with something potentially lighter than what it actually is. But the more the songs have a chance to get under your skin, the harder they are to shake. There are obvious hooky gems like “Hey, Lloyd Are You Ready to be Heartbroken” and “Let’s Get Out of This Country,” and “If Looks Could Kill” but it is the serene balance of the album that packs the deeper emotional punch.
In an era where individual songs more typically isolated and dropped into playlists, this album deserves much more. If “Let’s Get Out of This Country” is more a desert than than a main course, it is definitely more mouse than sherbert, and for those people looking for something to brighten a day or night it would be hard to find anything more comforting than this.