When I first heard Camera Obscura, I was amazed I hadn’t come across them earlier.  The Glasgow-based band has been around in various forms since 1996 and has released four albums over that time period.  Despite the breadth of time those albums cover, each has a common characteristic which endears them to me.  It’s hard to describe, but they all have the ability to lull the listener into a quasi-dreamy state, only to explode seconds later into a catchy, fun chorus.  In other words, it’s music that never fails to make me smile.  Some songs exhibiting this style are ‘Eighties Fan’ (off of their first album in 2001), which is a sweet, slow-paced, innocuous song before tambourine bells usher in a change of tempo about halfway though.  Something about those bells seems to trigger a Pavlovian response to be happy (I haven’t yet noticed a propensity to salivate though).  Another song, off their most recent album ‘My Maudlin Career’, which doesn’t quite take quite as long to reach an upbeat, fun tempo, is ‘French Navy’.  Right from the get-go this one hits you with a punchy one-two which returns multiple times for repeat performances – all-in-all, it makes for a memorable, fun, catchy song.

[mp3] Camera ObscuraEighties Fan
[mp3] Camera ObscuraFrench Navy