Camera Obscura: Underachievers Please Try Harder
Camera Obscura: Underachievers Please Try Harder
Artist Camera Obscura
Album Underachievers Please Try Harder
Label Merge Records
Released 1/20/2004
Camera Obscura are a band from Glasgow (that’s in Scotland) and Merge is delighted to bring you Underachievers Please Try Harder, their first-ever U.S. domestic release. The band was formed in the Spring of 1996 when Traceyanne Campbell (guitar, vocals) met John Henderson (vocals, percussion) at Glasgow College. With the addition of Gavin Dunbar and David Skirving they began writing songs and rehearsing in Gavin’s basement. The Andmoresound record label released Camera Obscura’s debut 7” (Park and Ride b/w Swimming Pool) in March of 1998 and the journey was under way. The band slowly built quite a buzz in the UK through radio play from the likes of Steve Lamacq and John Peel. In November 2001, the band went out on the road in support of their debut LP, Biggest Blue Hi-Fi and scored a minor hit with the single Eighties Fan (produced by Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian). John Peel went on to select Eighties Fan as the #8 single of the year for his Festive 50 radio show. The stage was set after an auspicious debut for the big follow up. Underachievers Please Try Harder does not disappoint. Songs drift and linger like clouds in a summer sky, with gentle hooks and breezy vocals that stick in your head like a pleasant memory. Camera Obscura create lilting, sophisticated melodies that draw similarities to the work of contemporaries such as Belle & Sebastian, The Clientele or Trembling Blue Stars, but are also rooted in more classic sounds such as Nick Drake, Donovan or Petula Clark. Tracks like Suspended From Class, Keep It Clean, Teenager, Number One Son and Books Written For Girls are instant classics. Underachievers Please Try Harder is one of those records that is so refreshing that it reminds you why you loved pop music so much in the first place.