May I dare to say Tracyanne Campbell is the female version of Stuart Murdoch? Let’s Get out of This Country capitalizes on pushing the boundaries in the quirky world of bittersweet, intimate chamber pop that Belle and Sebastian has championed over the past decade. The band draws influence from and expands upon the chamber-pop movement to create an album that’s not only memorable but also very elegant in production and in song dexterity.
That both bands hail from Scotland is irrelevant. What is relevant is that both seem to be headed down the same path musically. The production on Let’s Get out of This Country is similar to the more polished sounds of A Life Pursuit, but it flows through the ears more comfortably and naturally with Camera Obscura. Something seemed to be missing on the band’s previous album, Underachievers Please Try Harder, and the polishing up was the perfect remedy. Most chamber-pop albums seem to be slightly grittier, but this is one of the first I’ve heard with such graceful production. Its feel is similar to the Pernice Brothers’ Overcome by Happiness and Belle and Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister.
Let’s Get out of This Country represents the current state of independent pop music in its most genuine state. The lounge-organ riffs layered with orchestrated strings and guitars sopping with reverb (“Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken” and “Tears for Affairs”) are enough to make Brian Wilson smile a bit, and the clever, heartwarming lyricism (“Lets Get Out of this Country”) describes the getaway we have all imagined at one point or another: “Wave goodbye to our thankless jobs/ We’ll drive for miles, maybe never turn off/ We’ll find a cathedral city/ you can be handsome I’ll be pretty.”
The band garnered praise from legendary John Peel; caught the pop scene by storm with its first release, Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi; and now has released an album full of majestic pop tunes in their absolute truest form: Camera Obscura has been in all the right places at all the right times doing all the right things.
“Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken” streaming video