x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Camera Obscura: Desire Lines

A set of finely tuned baroque-pop numbers blending all sorts of flavours from Motown to post-punk.

Camera
Obscura
Desire Lines
4AD
****

Our favourite twee-poppers are back. The Glaswegian sextet have steadily built a cult following courtesy of four gorgeous albums that are simultaneously dreamy and heartbreaking. The calling card is Tracyanne Campbell’s crystalline voice.

She is that starry-eyed dreamer in the habit of falling foul of love but ultimately saved by unshakable optimism. Desire Lines continues in that emotional vein with another set of finely tuned baroque-pop numbers blending all sorts of flavours from Motown to post-punk. While the previous offering, My Maudlin Career, found the group at their most symphonic, Desire Lines is less bombastic, focusing on craftsmanship more than pastiche.

The sweet opener This Is Love is led by vintage horn riffs that could have came straight from an Otis Redding recording. The horns continue in the aching I Missed Your Party while in Cri Du Coeur, delicate emotion is matched by the fingerpicked strings. The standout track on the album, the breezy Troublemaker encapsulates the whole affair. Campbell’s turmoil is always laced with hope: “I fall down like a tonne of bricks / What makes me sick won’t make me quit.”

sasaeed@thenational.ae

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