Catching Up With Camera Obscura :: The AD Interview

Following a brief orchestral swell, Glasgow-based pop band Camera Obscura wastes no time getting assertive with Desire Lines, the band’s fifth album since debuting more than a decade ago with Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi. “When I found your girlfriend crying/I could have slapped you in the face,” singer Tracyanne Campbell sings over a restrained boogie. This is Cameria Obscura, of course, so the aggression is more subtle than bombastic, but over the course of the record’s 12 songs, Campbell and co. make it obvious this is no band of wide-eyed kids; Desire Lines is the work of a confident, grown ass band. The underachievers, it’s clear, are trying harder.

“I’m sure we had some ‘twee’ moments back in the early days --of course we did,” Carey Lander (keyboards, organ, vocals) states, her voice flat but warm, from Glasgow, where she’s packing her bags for a morning flight to the States to spend time opening for Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward’s She & Him.

“But I think we’ve had ambitions to move beyond being a gangly indie band,” she concludes.

For Desire Lines, the band’s first record since taking an extended break while Lander was treated for cancer (she’s doing fine these days), the band trekked to Oregon to record with Portlander Tucker Martine, joined at the sessions by Neko Case and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. There’s a stark West Coast vibe to the record, a Pacific saltiness. “We were really happy to come to America for this album,” Lander says. “It seemed like the right thing to do.”

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