Review: Camera Obscura – The Sweetest Thing
(Posted at TheFourohFive.com)
Hot on the heels of their brainstormingly-good single ‘French Navy’ comes another perfect slice of 60’s girl-group influenced twee from Scottish indie-pop group Camera Obscura.
Lifted from their impeccable fourth album ‘My Maudlin Career’, ‘The Sweetest Thing’ is about as sublime as indie-pop – or indeed any genre of music- can get; Bouncy guitars and bubbling horns swathe Tracyanne’s heartbreaking lyrics (including a deft Paul Simon reference) before swelling into the most vibrant, joyful, life-affirming chorus you’ll hear from any band, anywhere this year. It’s absolutely fantastic, and topped with possibly the second-most silly music video you’ll see this year (Only beaten by the exuberantly dirty NSFW version of Girl’s ‘Lust For Life’) which features singer Tracyanne Campbell singing ‘The Sweetest Thing’ (and keeping an admirable deadpan) while sporting lustrous pornstar whiskers, as the rest of Camera Obscura flail around her costumed as spot on Garfunkles, Bowies and Fleetwood Macs.
And if the sweeping gorgeousness of ‘The Sweetest Thing’ isn’t reason enough for you to spend your hard-earned cash on this single, the B-Side should be a deal-cincher – it’s a cover, but a cover with soul; Camera Obscura breathe new life into The Boss’s classic ‘Tougher Than The Rest’ by morphing it into a gentle, alt-country track. Amazingly, Camera Obscura manage to perform ‘Tougher than The Rest’ without making it seem like a gimmick in any way – on the contrary, the cover sounds natural and highly-logical, Tracyanne cooing ‘The road is dark, and it’s a thin, thin line/ But you know I’ll walk it for you anytime’ like the words actually mean something to her, God damn it.