Camera Obscura performs at the Gypsy Tea Room on Friday, July 14, with Georgie James.
On Camera Obscura's third album, Tracyanne Campbell's songs have propelled the Scottish outfit from a lesser-known Belle and Sebastian mimeograph to a full-blown pop consortium of its own. Let's Get Out of This Country nods to other artists musically, from George Harrison to the Supremes to the Concretes, but lyrically the heartbreak is all Campbell. The late, great Radio 1 legend John Peel championed the band seemingly from the get-go, offering Camera Obscura the opportunity to play their blend of twee, singer-songwriter gutwrench and Target commercial soundtrack for a number of his special concerts. The Glasgow outfit pulled off tight, energetic live shows that now breathe even more charming fire into single "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken" (a lush mid-tempo romp with vocals recalling the demure Tonya Donnelly and the harmonies of Veruca Salt) and other songs like "Tears for Affairs" (which may have been "My Sweet Lord" in a past life). The real power of Camera Obscura lies in the band's two-faced approach--poppy, catchy and confident songs that sucker-punch your heart if you listen too closely.