Sammy the Seal

Gorilla Obscura

In vinyl on Wednesday, 8 June, 2011 at 1:21

After listening back and forth between this Camera Obscura classic and the two Little Dragon tracks on Plastic Beach, and changing my mind after each listen, why not go both. I wish there were a better word than “soothing” here, but it’s all I got right now. These songs were a balm today.


Song: Come Back Margaret
Artist: Camera Obscura
Album: Let’s Get Out Of This Country

I know I always use the word “lovely” in reference to this album, but damn is this lovely. Lush, kitchen-sink arrangements that lift the song up to the sky but never overwhelm, a swooning yet joyous melody, not to mention my favorite handclaps of all time. Despite Tracyanne Campbell’s girlish romanticism, the lines “I like the free days with no expectations, I like it my way with no limitations” still stick with me, because they emphasize a need to retain an emotional independence that one often sacrifices when searching for love. She’s a romantic, but she’s no fool. She’s still idealistically hoping for that balance– I feel you, Ms. Campbell.


Songs: Empire Ants; To Binge
Artist: Gorillaz featuring Little Dragon
Album: Plastic Beach

Who is this Little Dragon? These two are a pretty good representation of the album I think, decidedly melancholy and relatively peaceful, but plenty soulful, with life dimmed and dampened but still simmering beneath the surface. I won’t try to deconstruct these songs, just listen to them. The emotions each singer brings to their share of the vocals are understated, but strong, and clear as day. “Empire Ants” isn’t really a duet, though, they just pass the baton. And though it’s not fair to stand against “Binge”, I’m appreciating it more and more as I listen to them together (and in the album as a whole). The lyrics for “To Binge” are just killer– such mature, yet simple insights. It’s one of the sweetest things I’ve heard in a while, and just might be my favorite song on the album. The melody is lighter than air, but very reassuring. I love this song. It has the ability to melt hearts, worries, everything.

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