Underachievers Please Try Harder

Camera Obscura
Underachievers Please Try Harder
Released: 09-08-2004

  1. Suspended From Class
  2. Keep It Clean
  3. A Sisters Social Agony
  4. Teenager
  5. Before You Cry
  6. Your Picture
  7. Number One Son
  8. Let Me Go Home
  9. Books Written For Girls
  10. Knee Deep At The NPL
  11. Lunar Sea
  12. Amigo Mio*
  13. San Francisco Song* (*) denotes bonus Australian tracks

Popfrenzy Records is delighted to bring you Underachievers Please Try Harder, the second album release from Glasgow’s Camera Obscura.

From the moment Suspended From Class kicks off, you want to be given the rest of the day off school (or work, or whatever) and kicked into the afternoon sun with Camera Obscura. You’d be playing truant for picnics, rather than public destruction – Camera Obscura make music to fly kites to.

The delicious, warm pop sounds that drift from dreamy doo wop in A Sister’s Social Agony, to straighter indie on Number One Son, to the silver-screen worthy duet on Before You Cry. Knee Deep at the NPL’s orchestration builds to a shimmering stylophone conclusion, a subtle, toy-like symphony.

The album is dreamy without drifting all over the place, and is a confident progression from their debut album Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi (still available on Gifted Records). Tracks like Teenager are a blissful, sun-dappled version of what adolescence is supposed to have been – irresistible for anyone who’s own felt awkward, rather than charming.

But Camera Obscura’s nostalgia has the benefit of maturity – the sound is that of looking back on youth with rose-coloured glasses. As Tracyanne Campbell coos at the end of Before You Cry, “You’re feeling a little sad tonight but you’ll be all right.” It’s the wonder of being 15, with the wisdom of being 25, and a wistfulness that is timeless.

“Captures a portion of the wispy bedsit magic that used to mark some of The Field Mice's best work and boosts it with the lush, "Hazey Jane II"-like chamber-pop of Belle & Sebastian's first flourishes of glory.” (Pitchfork)

--- Video for "Teenager" ---

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Camera Obscura
Lets Get Out Of This Country
Released: 19-06-2006