The disinterested ILB end of year rundown: #10 Camera Obscura – French Navy
I never mentioned this at the time because it felt like the kind of “hey, look at me everyone, I left the house and managed to talk to a girl” kinda of sprawl that most indie MP3 bloggers come up with whenever they try and write about what is “hot” “in” “the” “clubs”, but the weekend after Steven Wells tapped out, I was at this house party in Highbury, getting fucked up on Jaegermeister (it was the 2000s, they were different times) and screaming along to “Earth Song”.
Anyway, I was speaking to this broad who was knews Swells in a vaguely professional context, and she started talking about how she also knew Chumbawamba and all these other dudes like, idk, Crass or some shit, and I finally managed to pindown that, at the end of the day, Wells’ pro-pop, anti-twee schtick was just the final piece of puss leaking out of the sores of 77. If pop was good it was because it was SPUNKY or SHOCKING or PROVOCATIVE, ie: “you young black lasses are great, you remind me of white middle class guys from 20 years prior. Big up yourselves”.
Anyway, one thing he was pretty dead on about was that twee would eventually dovetail into dinner party music. “My Maudlin Career” is the album where that hypothesis became concrete. Really, there’s nothing on here that would have seemed out of place on the stereo of Thelma from Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?. Is it wrong to say that Traceyanne Campbell’s career has been helped by the fact she looks like Paul Bearer sans moustache?
I mean, Slow Club are never going anywhere because you’re constantly trying to work out how a chick that attractive is having to make indie for a living. With TA C, all of that “OMG SQUEEEEEE I WISH SHE WAS MY GIRLFRIEND SO WE COULD GO ON PICNICS TO BROCKWELL PARK” bullshit is deaded, hence we’ve been able to focus on Camera Obscura as an actual band of musicians making music. And they’ve gone on to have an actual, proper, mortgages paid career. That’s not a coincidence.