Camera Obscura (band)
Camera Obscura live at Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden
|Labels||4AD, Andmoresound, Elefant, Merge|
Nigel Baillie (part time)
|Past members||John Henderson
Camera Obscura were formed in 1996 by Tracyanne Campbell, John Henderson and Gavin Dunbar. Several other members performed with the band before David Skirving joined as a permanent guitarist. Their first releases were the singles "Park and Ride" and "Your Sound" in 1998. The band's line-up changed in 2000 and 2001 when Lee Thompson joined as its permanent drummer, Lindsay Boyd joined as a keyboard player, and Skirving left and was replaced by Kenny McKeeve.
Camera Obscura's first album, Biggest Bluest Hi Fi, was released in 2001. The album was produced by Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian and was supported by John Peel. The first single from the album, "Eighties Fan", came in at number eight in the Festive Fifty in 2001, and charted in several independent music charts. Nigel Baillie joined the band as a trumpeter and percussionist in 2002 and Carey Lander replaced Boyd. In the summer of 2002, Peel asked the band to do their first Peel session.
The band's second album, Underachievers Please Try Harder, was released in 2003 and was followed by Camera Obscura's first full tour of Britain and Ireland and the band's first tour of the United States. Founding member John Henderson left Camera Obscura following this tour. In early 2004 the band recorded the songs "I Love My Jean" and "Red, Red Rose" following their third Peel session, in which Peel had asked them to put these poems by Robert Burns to music.
Camera Obscura recorded their third album, Let's Get Out of This Country, in Sweden over the course of two weeks with producer Jari Haapalainen. The album was released on 6 June 2006. The first single, "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken", is an answer song to Lloyd Cole and the Commotions' song "Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?"; it appears during the opening credits of the 2007 film P.S. I Love You. The title song was featured in episode 5 of Friday Night Lights.
In November 2008, the band announced that they had completed recording the follow-up to Let's Get Out of This Country, and in February 2009, they announced that they had signed to 4AD. The new album, My Maudlin Career, was released in April 2009, and preceded by the first single "French Navy". London jewellery brand Tatty Devine created brooches and necklaces to coincide with the launch. The album was the band's first UK Top 40 success, and it also reached the top 40 in Ireland and the US Billboard Top 100. Around this time, the band announced that "due to family commitments (including being a proud dad) Nigel will no longer be a full time member of Camera Obscura".
On 18 April 2009, Camera Obscura released a special edition Record Store Day 7"" called "French Navy" for independent record stores. "French Navy" was also used by Echo Falls, who are the sponsors of Come Dine With Me, at the start of each episode and during the commercial breaks.
In 2015, the band announced the cancellation of planned gigs in North America due to the illness of Carey Lander. Lander had been first diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2011 and she announced in 2015 that it had returned.
- Tracyanne Campbell – guitar, vocals
- Carey Lander – piano, organ, vocals
- Kenny McKeeve – guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals
- Gavin Dunbar – bass
- Lee Thomson – drums
- Nigel Baillie – trumpet, percussion
- John Henderson – vocals, percussion (1996–2004)
- Richard Colburn – drums
- David Skirving – vocals, guitar
- Lindsay Boyd – keyboards
- Nigel Baillie - trumpet, percussion
- Tim Cronin – trumpet, percussion
- Francois Marry - trumpet, percussion, guitar
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|2001||Biggest Bluest Hi Fi||—||—||—|
|2003||Underachievers Please Try Harder||—||—||—|
|2006||Let's Get Out of This Country||125||—||—|
|2009||My Maudlin Career||32||37||87|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart or was not issued in that region.|
|Song||Release date||Release info||Formats||UK Singles Chart||Album|
|"Park and Ride"||2 March 1998||Andmoresound (and 09)||7" vinyl||—||Non-album single|
|"Your Sound"||14 December 1998||Andmoresound (and 11)||CD, 7" vinyl||—|
|"Eighties Fan"||25 June 2001||Andmoresound (and 16)||CD, 7" vinyl||—||Biggest Bluest Hi Fi|
|"Teenager"||26 May 2003||Elefant (ER-352)||CD||182||Underachievers Please Try Harder|
|"Keep It Clean"||28 June 2004||Elefant (ER-355)||CD||—|
|"I Love My Jean"||21 March 2005||Elefant (ER-358)||CD, 7" vinyl||101||Non-album single|
|"Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken"||15 May 2006||Elefant (ER-362)||CD, 7" vinyl||124||Let's Get Out of This Country|
|"Let's Get Out of This Country"||11 September 2006||Elefant (ER-364)||CD, 7" vinyl||144|
|"If Looks Could Kill"||29 January 2007||Elefant (ER-366)||CD, 7" vinyl||191|
|"Tears for Affairs"||23 April 2007||Elefant (ER-368)||CD, 7" vinyl||—|
|"French Navy"||13 April 2009||4AD (AD 2912)||CD, 7" vinyl||141||My Maudlin Career|
|"Honey in the Sun"||August 2009||4AD (EAD 2929 S)||Promo-only CDR||—|
|"The Sweetest Thing"||2 November 2009||4AD (AD 2926)||7" vinyl||—|
|"The Blizzard" / "Swans"||7 December 2009||4AD (AD 2937)||7" vinyl||—|
|"The Nights Are Cold"||17 May 2010||4AD (AD 3X25)||7" vinyl||—||Non-album single|
|"Do It Again"||May 2013||4AD||Free Download||—||Desire Lines|
|"Break It to You Gently" / "Do It Again"||October 2013||4AD||7" vinyl||—|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|
Compilations and EPs
- Rare UK Bird (December 1999, Quattro) Japan-only
- 4AD Sessions EP (19 April 2014, 4AD) Record Store Day
- Acoustic 07 (2007, V2 Records) - "Let's Get Out of This Country"
- The Saturday Sessions: The Dermot O'Leary Show (2007, EMI) - "Super Trouper"
- "Camera Obscura Biography". NME Artists. NME. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
- "Camera Obscura". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
- "Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - Festive 50s - 2001". BBC. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "Camera Obscura". Interviews. Pitchfork Media. 2006-09-25. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
- Keresman, Mark (19 July 2006). "If It's Not Scottish, It's Crap!". SF Weekly. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
- Perry, Jonathan (2006-06-30). "Camera Obscura Sharpens its Focus". The Boston Globe.
- "P.S. I Love You (2007) Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- Webb, Rob (2009-02-04). "4AD announce trio of signings / Music News // Drowned In Sound". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "Camera Obscura's New Album". 2009-02-09.
- [dead link]
- Thomas, Fred. "Desire Lines - Camera Obscura : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
- "Camera Obscura". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- "Discography Camera Obscura". irish-charts.com. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- "Camera Obscura Music News & Info". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
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