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Camera Obscura

The Scottish ensemble Camera Obscura formed in 1996, when vocalist Tracyanne Campbell, percussionist John Henderson, bassist Gavin Dunbar, and guitarist David Skirving began creating lush indie pop with orchestral flourishes and romantic lyrics. They went on to release a number of singles, one of which included contributions from Belle & Sebastian's Richard Colburn, whose band served as a stylistic touchstone for the young Camera Obscura. Three years after the band's first releases, Lee Thompson joined the lineup as a permanent drummer and David Skirving jumped ship, only to be replaced by Kenny McKeeve. Keyboardist Lindsey Boyd also climbed aboard not long afterward, defining the band as a six-piece.

Camera Obscura received an influential endorsement from John Peel in 2001, when the British DJ deemed them one of the most promising bands of the year. Their first full-length album, Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi, was released the following year through the AndMoreSound Records catalog, with production help from Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch. Trumpeter and percussionist Nigel Baile joined the band soon afterward, swelling their ranks to seven. The group's next effort, the luminescent Underachievers Please Try Harder, was released by Spanish label Elefant in 2003; an American release followed in 2004 by the stalwart label Merge, which also reissued Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi. For the band's third Peel session in early 2004, they were asked to put music to the words of Scottish poet Robert Burns, a task they enjoyed so much they ended up recording studio versions of two of the songs: "I Love My Jean" and "Red, Red Rose."

After touring the world and reaping critical success, the band returned to Scotland and suffered two losses: first, the death of Peel, one of their biggest supporters; second, the defection of John Henderson. The band released the I Love My Jean single as a tribute to the late Peel in early 2005 and decamped as a six-piece to Sweden to record with noted producer Jari Haapalainen. The resulting album, Let's Get Out of This Country, was released in June of 2006 on Merge and Elefant. A series of singles and EPs followed, culminating in the release of 2009's full-length My Maudlin Career. The band began work writing a follow up in 2010, but illness and personal issues put the process on indefinite hold for a time. In 2012 they traveled to Portland, Oregon to work with producer Tucker Martine on what would become 2013's Desire Lines, the group's fifth and most confident record to date. ~ Mario Mesquita Borges & Tim Sendra, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: If Looks Could Kill

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Track List: Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken

Comments

i always assumed they were from san francisco...
It has the Spectorisms of the 60s/70s with their own touch. Brilliant
Sounds like The Sundays but an even nicer voice
clay6181
my favorite band
thanks guys....
Ages ago when painters would do portraits of people they would use a mirror as a traceable guide to capture the perfect likeness of their model. That term is called Camera Obscura.
Anybody know where the term Camera Obscura came from?
sigh, love.
cmart201
Forest and Sands... doesn't get much better.
LOVE LOVE LOVE CAMERA OBSCURA!
fergy51
Hard to believe they're not huge.
Twee pop indeed!!
thisfuegita
Yikes! You have the wrong bio. This is the "Scottish twee pop outfit" and thank heavens it is!
One of the few bands I keep in constant rotation.... I never get tired of them!
The Bio attached to this is incorrect. This is the European Camera Obscura! I am a big fan and cant't wait for their return to the U.S. I have every album! I did not obtain them in order however and i must admit not one is disappointin g . All albums are both musically and lyrically consistent-- g o
rayray099
mega love for these guys. noticed they were playing on the jutbox in the psych ep dual spires...pre t t y awesome
cin.smiles
I love this band <333
i am in love with this band.
yup
I just discovered them recently- and love them!!! They are good for a peaceful drive and any other time of the day :)
dwarfmoose
I want to marry Tracyanne!
Spectrum Culture just posted a review of their Portland concert. I'd love to check them out live if I ever get the chance.
http://spect r u m c u l t u r e . c o m / 2 0 1 0 / 0 5 / c o n c e r t - r e v i e w - c a m e r a - o b s c u r a p r i n c e t o n . h t m l
Intresting band. The first time I've heard them.
Soothing goodness. I have a regular normal crush on Tracyanne.
i do have a crush on tracyanne, yes.
hey, they fixed it! at least i think they did...
cecilanne
Um, the Pandora folks may want to work on their "Biorgraphy" links - despite the statement in the description above, the song I am listening to right now is most definitely by the twee Scots group Camera Obscura and not some disbanded San Diego band . . . .
Andylynch108 , you're right. Pandora is wrong. This Camera Obscura (who released all those albums above) IS from Scotland and they are NOT broken up.

Go to myspace.com/ c a m e r a o b s c u r a b a n d

Pandora got the names wrong too. The band is made up of:
Tracyanne Campbell - Vocals, Guitars

Gavin Dunbar - Bass

Lee Thomson - Drums

Kenny McKeeve - Guitars, Vocals

Nigel Baillie - Trumpet, Percussion

Carey Lander - Piano, Organ, Vocals
andylynch108
If I may be so bold, I think Pandora put the wrong bio for the albums they display with the bio. I think this is the Scottish Camera Obscura; not the one from San Diego. Am I right or am I just confused?
P.S. Scottish Camera Obscura is(if I have the right one) the best indie band I know!
Love it. They remind me alot of The Sundays
ssw050203
I love, love, love "Keep it clean". I basically tune the music out most of the time but when that songs pops up in my rotation I have to stop what I'm doing and just bop along to it. It makes me so happy!
maggie.latha m
absolutely lovely
Just hearing these guys can turn a crap day good again. They have a rare and magical sound.
i can def. feel the belle & sebastian vibe; also reminiscent of mid-90's luna on the instrumental s . . . r e a l l y quite lovely - the vox are stellar.
pen and notebook is one of my new favorites
Very soothing yet upbeat and energizing. Definitely feel good music, almost like the feeling you get when looking at fun memorablia on old vhs.
"Alaska" is a tasty tune. Must find out more.
mattjwayad
"I Don't Do Crowds" is my new favorite song. Great stuff! MJ
christinaste u b e n
THEY ROCK!

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