Camera Obscura


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At a Glance

Formed: 1996 (18 years ago)


Biography

When you've gone through things in life and in love, do they change you? And what can music do?

Things are meant to go one way in life, or so we’re told, then there are the ways in which they do. And the Desire Lines are always there, cutting through.

Not many bands keep going through thick and thin. Camera Obscura have been a group for seventeen years. They’ve made music that rouses the soul, fills the heart, and squeezes on your dancing shoes.

But this time, things are different.

Four years ago, Camera Obscura released their first album for 4AD, My Maudlin Career. Four years later, ... Read more

When you've gone through things in life and in love, do they change you? And what can music do?

Things are meant to go one way in life, or so we’re told, then there are the ways in which they do. And the Desire Lines are always there, cutting through.

Not many bands keep going through thick and thin. Camera Obscura have been a group for seventeen years. They’ve made music that rouses the soul, fills the heart, and squeezes on your dancing shoes.

But this time, things are different.

Four years ago, Camera Obscura released their first album for 4AD, My Maudlin Career. Four years later, after a forced hiatus, they are bolder, braver people, and infinitely more ambitious ones too. You can hear this right through their new record, an album born of life and experience.

Desire Lines is a record with something to prove.

In 2001, Camera Obscura released their first album, John Peel favourite Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi. In 2003 came Underachievers Please Try Harder. These records were embraced by the indiepop kids and held tight to their hearts. Camera Obscura didn't just want to be theirs though – but they know now, more than ever, how important that love was.

2006's Let's Get Out Of This Country appeared as their supporters in the media world were first flowering, as the group toured and toured, their luscious sounds gaining more shape and weight.

2009's My Maudlin Career went further, telling us about Forests And Sands and Other Towns and Cities. It was a record that expanded their world, and showed us where we could all go together. It’s also their best-selling and most critically acclaimed album to date and the band toured behind it extensively.

In 2010, Desire Lines began as every Camera Obscura album always has, in singer Tracyanne Campbell's flat, with every member rallying round. Camera Obscura were never just a recording entity. They have always been friends, and remain so. Their friendships aren't soft, soppy things either.

They are resilient and strong, and this new record shows that. Here is a female-fronted band with a big, sturdy heart, which keeps pumping on, powered by love.

For the next two years, Camera Obscura fought the tougher sides of sickness and sadness, and survived, as many of us do. Thankfully they got through it all. The demos for Desire Lines were revisited again in summer 2012, and the songs that came from them felt like bigger, brighter things. “Troublemaker” told us it was going to be one hell of a year. “New Year’s Resolution” talked about admitting things, and kissing like you meant it. “Cri Du Coeur” took us on a literal journey and a daydream as it wrestled with the past. They came with tunes too: open-wide, full of space, joy and loveliness.

Last winter, the band took their music to a new place in another way too – to Portland, Oregon to work with producer Tucker Martine, who had added so much to the music of R.E.M., The Decemberists and Sufjan Stevens. The band loved being in Portland – they referred to it as a “city where you could catch the bus and the people feel real.”

For this recording, the band also wanted clarity and space in their sound, and not just capture a string of moments from disparate days. They didn't want to hide behind effects or reverb either. They wanted their music to feel freer, as they did, and take their listeners with them. They also brought in other singers to complement their songs: Neko Case and Jim James from My Morning Jacket contribute backing vocals.

Tracyanne never wanted to be just another jangly singer-songwriter, she says. She wanted to be Carole King. She still does. Neither did Camera Obscura want to be a band that flamed brightly but briefly. They wanted to be like Yo La Tengo or The Pastels: bands that have lasted for the right reasons and impulses, bands with a warm, solid core. Who were making music because they wanted to. Because it meant everything to them.

Desire Lines is a big, gorgeous pop record that sounds like it means it. It wears its heart on its sleeve, and its music shines with light. Here are guitars that have a heavenly glow, drums that rouse you from your slumbers, vocals that make your blood rush, and choruses that beam for miles. Here are beautiful songs about what people go through, in honest terms.

Desire Lines is an album about appreciating which path you're on, say the band. The way you really want to go, and can go. About the way they are going.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

When you've gone through things in life and in love, do they change you? And what can music do?

Things are meant to go one way in life, or so we’re told, then there are the ways in which they do. And the Desire Lines are always there, cutting through.

Not many bands keep going through thick and thin. Camera Obscura have been a group for seventeen years. They’ve made music that rouses the soul, fills the heart, and squeezes on your dancing shoes.

But this time, things are different.

Four years ago, Camera Obscura released their first album for 4AD, My Maudlin Career. Four years later, after a forced hiatus, they are bolder, braver people, and infinitely more ambitious ones too. You can hear this right through their new record, an album born of life and experience.

Desire Lines is a record with something to prove.

In 2001, Camera Obscura released their first album, John Peel favourite Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi. In 2003 came Underachievers Please Try Harder. These records were embraced by the indiepop kids and held tight to their hearts. Camera Obscura didn't just want to be theirs though – but they know now, more than ever, how important that love was.

2006's Let's Get Out Of This Country appeared as their supporters in the media world were first flowering, as the group toured and toured, their luscious sounds gaining more shape and weight.

2009's My Maudlin Career went further, telling us about Forests And Sands and Other Towns and Cities. It was a record that expanded their world, and showed us where we could all go together. It’s also their best-selling and most critically acclaimed album to date and the band toured behind it extensively.

In 2010, Desire Lines began as every Camera Obscura album always has, in singer Tracyanne Campbell's flat, with every member rallying round. Camera Obscura were never just a recording entity. They have always been friends, and remain so. Their friendships aren't soft, soppy things either.

They are resilient and strong, and this new record shows that. Here is a female-fronted band with a big, sturdy heart, which keeps pumping on, powered by love.

For the next two years, Camera Obscura fought the tougher sides of sickness and sadness, and survived, as many of us do. Thankfully they got through it all. The demos for Desire Lines were revisited again in summer 2012, and the songs that came from them felt like bigger, brighter things. “Troublemaker” told us it was going to be one hell of a year. “New Year’s Resolution” talked about admitting things, and kissing like you meant it. “Cri Du Coeur” took us on a literal journey and a daydream as it wrestled with the past. They came with tunes too: open-wide, full of space, joy and loveliness.

Last winter, the band took their music to a new place in another way too – to Portland, Oregon to work with producer Tucker Martine, who had added so much to the music of R.E.M., The Decemberists and Sufjan Stevens. The band loved being in Portland – they referred to it as a “city where you could catch the bus and the people feel real.”

For this recording, the band also wanted clarity and space in their sound, and not just capture a string of moments from disparate days. They didn't want to hide behind effects or reverb either. They wanted their music to feel freer, as they did, and take their listeners with them. They also brought in other singers to complement their songs: Neko Case and Jim James from My Morning Jacket contribute backing vocals.

Tracyanne never wanted to be just another jangly singer-songwriter, she says. She wanted to be Carole King. She still does. Neither did Camera Obscura want to be a band that flamed brightly but briefly. They wanted to be like Yo La Tengo or The Pastels: bands that have lasted for the right reasons and impulses, bands with a warm, solid core. Who were making music because they wanted to. Because it meant everything to them.

Desire Lines is a big, gorgeous pop record that sounds like it means it. It wears its heart on its sleeve, and its music shines with light. Here are guitars that have a heavenly glow, drums that rouse you from your slumbers, vocals that make your blood rush, and choruses that beam for miles. Here are beautiful songs about what people go through, in honest terms.

Desire Lines is an album about appreciating which path you're on, say the band. The way you really want to go, and can go. About the way they are going.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

When you've gone through things in life and in love, do they change you? And what can music do?

Things are meant to go one way in life, or so we’re told, then there are the ways in which they do. And the Desire Lines are always there, cutting through.

Not many bands keep going through thick and thin. Camera Obscura have been a group for seventeen years. They’ve made music that rouses the soul, fills the heart, and squeezes on your dancing shoes.

But this time, things are different.

Four years ago, Camera Obscura released their first album for 4AD, My Maudlin Career. Four years later, after a forced hiatus, they are bolder, braver people, and infinitely more ambitious ones too. You can hear this right through their new record, an album born of life and experience.

Desire Lines is a record with something to prove.

In 2001, Camera Obscura released their first album, John Peel favourite Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi. In 2003 came Underachievers Please Try Harder. These records were embraced by the indiepop kids and held tight to their hearts. Camera Obscura didn't just want to be theirs though – but they know now, more than ever, how important that love was.

2006's Let's Get Out Of This Country appeared as their supporters in the media world were first flowering, as the group toured and toured, their luscious sounds gaining more shape and weight.

2009's My Maudlin Career went further, telling us about Forests And Sands and Other Towns and Cities. It was a record that expanded their world, and showed us where we could all go together. It’s also their best-selling and most critically acclaimed album to date and the band toured behind it extensively.

In 2010, Desire Lines began as every Camera Obscura album always has, in singer Tracyanne Campbell's flat, with every member rallying round. Camera Obscura were never just a recording entity. They have always been friends, and remain so. Their friendships aren't soft, soppy things either.

They are resilient and strong, and this new record shows that. Here is a female-fronted band with a big, sturdy heart, which keeps pumping on, powered by love.

For the next two years, Camera Obscura fought the tougher sides of sickness and sadness, and survived, as many of us do. Thankfully they got through it all. The demos for Desire Lines were revisited again in summer 2012, and the songs that came from them felt like bigger, brighter things. “Troublemaker” told us it was going to be one hell of a year. “New Year’s Resolution” talked about admitting things, and kissing like you meant it. “Cri Du Coeur” took us on a literal journey and a daydream as it wrestled with the past. They came with tunes too: open-wide, full of space, joy and loveliness.

Last winter, the band took their music to a new place in another way too – to Portland, Oregon to work with producer Tucker Martine, who had added so much to the music of R.E.M., The Decemberists and Sufjan Stevens. The band loved being in Portland – they referred to it as a “city where you could catch the bus and the people feel real.”

For this recording, the band also wanted clarity and space in their sound, and not just capture a string of moments from disparate days. They didn't want to hide behind effects or reverb either. They wanted their music to feel freer, as they did, and take their listeners with them. They also brought in other singers to complement their songs: Neko Case and Jim James from My Morning Jacket contribute backing vocals.

Tracyanne never wanted to be just another jangly singer-songwriter, she says. She wanted to be Carole King. She still does. Neither did Camera Obscura want to be a band that flamed brightly but briefly. They wanted to be like Yo La Tengo or The Pastels: bands that have lasted for the right reasons and impulses, bands with a warm, solid core. Who were making music because they wanted to. Because it meant everything to them.

Desire Lines is a big, gorgeous pop record that sounds like it means it. It wears its heart on its sleeve, and its music shines with light. Here are guitars that have a heavenly glow, drums that rouse you from your slumbers, vocals that make your blood rush, and choruses that beam for miles. Here are beautiful songs about what people go through, in honest terms.

Desire Lines is an album about appreciating which path you're on, say the band. The way you really want to go, and can go. About the way they are going.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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