‘Do It Again’
They are a band with a huge social following and an exciting future; an essential addition to stereos and iPods.
Availability: ‘Do It Again’ is available via http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHryk07Rs_k&feature=youtu.be
The future and security of bands who have managed to make an impact…
is not necessarily cemented and solid. I have never believed in anything as trite as fate or destiny. It is part of a wider discourse of anger I have, relating to, what I see as a naivety amongst many people. It will cost potential romance and long-term prospects of contentment, but ultimately comes from a bedrock of intelligence, science and logic; as well as perhaps a pessimism. I only mention it, as there is a transferable lack of understanding within music. Many bands or acts allie any success to the notion that their righteous success is down to fate; a lot of newer musicians attribute good fortune or deserved plaudit to this notion. The music market is as fickle and cruel as any. The greater the number of new acts and artists coming through, the less likely it is that you will be noticed, unless you have something tremendous in your box of tricks. As a comparable to the burgeoning population, it is perhaps not simply advisable to be born, aerate with no ambition, go grey and simple be satisfied with your lot. It is as wasteful and baffling to be constrictive and narrow in life, as it is within music. Because of a wealthy chest of historical talent; new and exciting technology, and a whole host of possibilities, it is rather discouraging when groups or artists simply play it safe, or show timidity. Circling to my primary point, success and fortune is equivocal to talent, likeable personality and an original and stunning sound. I have been affronted by the lack of communication and appreciation I received from a well-established U.S. band recently, with regards to a recent review I wrote for their new song. My anger is hardly assuaged down to the fact that they are awesome musicians and are a phenomenal band. If you want longevity and the ardent gaze of society as well as music media, then you need to tie these sought-after qualities together. The truly note-worthy acts that are in existence have managed to claim a foothold because of this. It is not due to a prefabricated destiny; they have worked their collective arses off to get there. If I refer to my argument about the somewhat fickle nature of the business, there is a large sector of music that contains flaccid, plastic and vile bile; artists whom tick none of the boxes and achieve a great financial wealth and fan-base by appealing to lowest common denominators; who appeal to undeveloped musical minds, with only prurient interests and shallowness to their personalty. I have been fortunate enough to hear of a lot of new artists, whom I fondly believe will be tugging heart-string and challenging minds for many years to come. Something in the way they move; attract me like no other musicians. The abiding factor that has enforced this opinion is a number of different considerations. They all have terrific personalities; a humble nature to them as well as a set of tremendous and intriguing songs. Image has played a part, as well as a catchy or intelligent band name: one that excites you, and gives insight into the band’s psyche, as well as what their music may well sound like.
This takes me, perhaps with not the composed neatness I was aiming for, to the shores of Camera Obscura. Screw it; it is a tidy segway. All of my aforementioned thesis will be rationalised and proved as I continue, and will bring evolution and depth to my conclusion. I must be frank first of all: up until this week I was not overly aware of the stylish beauty of Glasgow’s 5-piece. Their name alone elicits a monsoon of curiosity and back story. The band name has a historical origin. A camera obscura, is a photographic devise, which projects the image of its surroundings, onto a screen. It has the appearance of an overhead projector, and is quite primitive in nature, yet an influential discovery that has lead to the development of a lot of equivalent technology, and can be seen as future forefounder muse. It also has a local relevance to the band. In Edinburgh the name is given to an attraction which has been in existence for 150 years, and gives the opportunity for people to learn about the history of the city, and displays huge images of the city onto a viewing table. It is an experience that ties in the basic, yet pioneering technology of the device, with a modern-day desire and shift. The band constitute Tracyanne Campbell, Gavin Dunbar, Kenneth McKeeve, Lee Thomson and Carey Lander. On their Facebook page, their profile page shows them shrouded and enveloped in smoke, dressed resplendently, and stern-faced and mysterious. The band mixes a bi-gender chemical composite, with a range of ages and experience. The men are variably intimidating and welcoming; the women are alluring, yet relatable. It is the way that the band blend history, modernity, science, technology; and a quadrophonic blast that hits you, and hits you hard. The group has an album, ‘Desire Lines’ just around the corner, and it promises to be a terrific listen. Having surmounted a bit of local knowledge about the band, and after a cursory listen to a lot of their previous work, I seated myself, eager to see what images and scenes would be projected forth.
The title is one that has been employed by a number of acts, including U.S. legends Steely Dan, but from the opening notes, one cannot help but be reminded of The Cure as the opening percussion rumble, leads to a mazzy and exciting guitar weave. Perhaps not a conscious choice on the part of the band, but it had me hooked. It has some introverted and transposed similarities with some of the band’s songs, but the group here manage to make the sound fresh, and updated. They also create more curiosity and wonder than a lot of The Cure’s work. I hear some ’60s influences in the intro, as the initial carnivorous primitivity becomes anthropomorphised; it is an invigorating and sprightly combination of percussion, bass, and guitar and has sparks and controlled fires of bliss. As the voice arrives on the scene, it is calming but seductive. After a 17 year history, and with four albums to their name, Camera Obscura have not forgotten anything or missed a step. There is romantic build, and explosive reactions mingling in the lyrics. Traceyanne recalls that her beau has been given her number, and she likewise notices, “you’re insatiable”. The vocal melody has a soul flavour to it, as well as a loyal home accent; both modern and pleasing to hear. As the details and declarations are unveiled, Campbell asks: “Would you do it again?”. The drums roll and crack to add extra point and clarity to the lyrics, as the band conjure atmosphere and excitement. The chorus of “Let’s do it again”, is repeated and given a celebratory tone, which adds to the positivist and joy of the song. The initial choruses are repeated, and the story is less linear and progressive as some of their previous tracks; instead it uses its strengths brilliantly, and creates a bluster of vivid scenes and sounds, and makes sure that it is imprinted in your mind. In a sense there is an appropriate nod to the title, in the fact that the same lines are repeated. It gives depth and meaning to the song, and makes sure that it does not wander or needlessly waste words. By the 2/3 mark, we are introduced to a musical break/middle eight, that, like the intro., has some classic punk edges, as well as modern indie youth to it. There are punctuated and dips and dives of guitar; the drum is steady and keeps the song’s posture correct and upright. As it ends, and the chorus/verse structure comes back to the fore, the song builds back its sexual tension and frisson, before spluttering and collapsing with exhaustion.
After listening to ‘Do It Again’, I am confident that it will be bouncing around my skull for a long while. It has a catchy nature to it, and keeps the band’s ethos and sound loyal and unwavering. It will be familiar to fans of the band, yet can entice and embrace new listeners, too. The song has sharp and interesting lyrics, that will be familiar to many people; there is a relatable intrigue to them, and a universal appeal. The composition is highly effective and it is a tight and professional song, that also has a nice loose smile to it. With strong vocals and an amazing band performance, it is a stunning window into what will be contained within ‘Desire Lines’. They are a band who prove my earlier points. When they were brand new and released ‘Biggest Bluest Hi Fi’, critics and fans alike were on-board, and encapsulated. They managed to hold the attention, because of their talents, and honest approach to songwriting. There was no need for unfair attributions; the group have kept a level and unflinching quality, and 2009’s ‘My Maudlin Career’, received a huge amount of praise, with many saying that it was assertive and addictive, and stayed close the band’s colours and tried and tested formulae. The group know that their current album will be a success, and hope that it does not take long for them to gain a knew sea of fans. I am disappointed I have been out of their loop all of this time, and have dedicated a large amount of time to investigating their collective work. In a week where the word ‘Spring’ has a fungible and ironically flexible definition, seek out a song from a band who can bring it straight to your door. There is enough climate to appeal to the fair-weather and established alike. As a message to new acts, wondering how you become popular, and stay memorable…
… this is how it’s done.