Isobel Campbell

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Isobel Campbell
Isobel Campbell.jpg
Background information
Birth name Isobel Campbell
Also known as Belle, Bel
Born (1976-04-27) 27 April 1976 (age 38)
Origin Glasgow, Scotland
Genres Indie pop, alternative rock, Twee Pop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician, vocalist
Instruments Vocals, cello
Years active 1996–present
Labels V2 Records, Jeepster Records
Associated acts Belle & Sebastian
Mark Lanegan
The Gentle Waves
Website Official Site

Isobel Campbell (born on 27 April 1976) is a Scottish singer, cellist and composer in the indie and rock genres. She was born in Glasgow. She is a former member of the Scottish indie pop band Belle & Sebastian, but left the group to pursue a solo career, first as The Gentle Waves, and later under her own name. Recently, she has collaborated with singer Mark Lanegan on three albums.

Isobel Campbell's music has been described as either indie pop, chamber pop or singer-songwriter.[1] Regardless of genre, Campbell makes gentle and sombre music, often using classical instruments and her bright, slightly nasal voice with bittersweet and ironic songwriting.

History[edit]

A classically trained cellist,[1] Campbell was a member of Belle & Sebastian from their formation in Glasgow in 1996 until 2002, when she departed the band for personal reasons. She played cello and keyboards with the band, and sang backing vocals. She also took lead vocals on a few songs from the band, and co-wrote their top-20 UK single "Legal Man".

Her band The Gentle Waves released its first album on Jeepster Records, titled The Green Fields of Foreverland, in 1999. The second Gentle Waves record, Swansong For You came out one year later. In 2002, she collaborated with Scottish jazz musician Bill Wells on a collection of Billie Holiday songs, released by Creeping Bent.

In 2003, Campbell released Amorino, her first solo album under her own name. Bill Wells was featured here again, along with other jazz musicians.

Her next LP, Ballad of the Broken Seas, a collaborative album with former Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age singer Mark Lanegan, was released in March 2006. For this record she received a Mercury Music Prize nomination. She toured the UK, United States and Canada to promote the album. Her third solo album, Milkwhite Sheets, was released in November 2006 and continued the folk-based approach of Ballad of the Broken Seas.

A follow-up to Ballad of the Broken Seas with Mark Lanegan entitled Sunday at Devil Dirt was released on 13 May 2008. A third collaboration with Lanegan, entitled Hawk, was released in Aug 2010.[2]

In December 2012, Campbell announced on Twitter V2 Records had dropped her in the UK. However, a month later, she stated she had found another home for her music with another label. On march 11th, 2014, she confirmed on her Facebook page that she is now signed on Easy Sound Recording.

Musical career[edit]

Belle & Sebastian[edit]

Belle & Sebastian was formed in 1996 by Stuart Murdoch and Stuart David. Murdoch was the lead singer on the first two albums, with Campbell playing cello, percussion and singing backing vocals.

Their follow-up was The Boy with the Arab Strap which contained the track "Is It Wicked Not to Care?" where for the first time Campbell sang lead vocals.

The band's next album was Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant. The album introduced many stylistic changes, such as a larger string section and more of the members singing lead vocals; Campbell sings on "Family Tree", and performs a duet with Stevie Jackson on "Beyond the Sunrise".

Most of 2002 was spent on touring and recording a soundtrack album, Storytelling (for Storytelling by Todd Solondz). Campbell left the band in spring of 2002, in the middle of the band's North American tour.

Solo and side projects[edit]

In 1999, Campbell released her first solo album, The Green Fields of Foreverland, on the same label as Belle & Sebastian, Jeepster Records. It was released under the name The Gentle Waves, but it was not a band in the strict sense.

The follow-up to The Green Fields of Foreverland would become Swansong for You released on 6 November 2000. This album would be the last release by Campbell as The Gentle Waves. In 2003 she released a new album Amorino under her own name. Her next album, 2006's Ballad of the Broken Seas, was a collaboration with former Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan and was well received by critics.

Her fourth studio album was released on 23 October 2006 entitled Milkwhite Sheets. It brings traditional songs from United Kingdom and songs written by Campbell. Campbell has stated that album was inspired by the works of Jean Ritchie, Anne Briggs and Shirley Collins.

Collaboration with Mark Lanegan[edit]

Isobel toured with Mark Lanegan in 2007 in support of their album Ballad of the Broken Seas.

In April 2004, Campell released an EP with Mark Lanegan, titled Time Is Just the Same. They would later release a single entitled "Ramblin' Man" for their collaboration album Ballad of the Broken Seas. Campbell wrote and recorded the majority of the album's tracks in Glasgow, with Lanegan adding vocals in Los Angeles. The album was nominated for the 2006 Mercury Prize.[3] Lanegan and Campbell played four UK concerts in January 2007, with the London date being moved to a larger venue as a result of high demand for tickets.

In 2007, the duo recorded a second album together, entitled Sunday at Devil Dirt, which was released on 5 May 2008. Three singles from the album were released: "Who Built the Road"(7"), "Come On Over (Turn Me On)" (7") and "Keep me in mind sweetheart"(Cd, 12"). The five new tracks of the "Keep me in mind sweetheart" EP were later added as bonus tracks to Sunday at Devil Dirt.

A third collaborative album with Lanegan was released on August 16, 2010 entitled Hawk. The pair toured to promote the album, including a set at All Tomorrow's Parties, 10–12 December 2010 (Bowlie 2) curated by Belle & Sebastian.

Selected discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Studio albums With Mark Lanegan[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]