When: Sat., June 29, 7:30 p.m. 2013
Four years have passed since the release of Camera Obscura’s previous album, My Maudlin Career, but on the lovely new Desire Lines (4AD) little has changed in the band’s music. Tracyanne Campbell still uses her sweet, guileless voice—sounding more than ever like a less world-weary Tracy Thorne—to sing romantic songs that rarely end with anybody contented. On track after track she’s either thinking aloud or engaging in conversations that reach no resolution. On “Troublemaker,” for instance, she sings, “Three years in and I call to crush what remains of this love,” but later in the track she starts equivocating. Her warm melodies remain infectious, rolling softly from her tongue in a cloud of mentholated vocal harmonies, jangly C86 guitars, synth strings, and gently percolating rhythms—the total effect is to hint at blue-eyed soul, except without a lick of strain or stress. Loneliness and heartbreak go down like a fruity summer cocktail when Campbell delivers the news. —Peter Margasak She & Him headline.