Camera Obscura, ‘Desire Lines’


Aidin Vaziri | Camera Obscura’s first album in four years opens with a bit of a jolt: “When I found your girlfriend crying, I could have slapped you in the face.” The twee Glasgow indie rockers are known for many things, but mettle and mild violence have never ranked high on the list. Things settle down quickly on “Desire Lines” – perhaps a little too much given the group’s tendency for airy romanticism. While producer Tucker Martine, who has worked with the Decemberists and Sufjan Stevens, manages to give a little muscle to songs such as “Break It to You Gently” and “Do It Again,” the music remains lovely but largely ephemeral. That is until the glimmering “Fifth in Line to the Throne,” which finds Neko Case providing singer Tracyanne Campbell with some seriously swoon-worthy backing vocals.


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