Music » Critics' Picks

Camera Obscura

9 p.m. Tuesday, December 1. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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Early in its career, Camera Obscura seemed fated to languish in the shadows of fellow countrymen Belle & Sebastian. With a shared affinity for mellifluous chamber pop and melancholy tales of teenage pining sung in soft, lilting Glaswegian accents, the comparisons were impossible to shake. But with the pitch-perfect release of Let's Get Out of This Country in 2006, Camera Obscura hit on its sweet spot: soaring Northern Soul arrangements emblazoned with glockenspiel, vintage organs and faraway beach guitars. No matter the ebullience of the composition, however, singer Tracyanne Campbell's wry and lovelorn voice keeps her songs grounded and intimate, like private confessionals uttered only to the dearest of confidants. Camera Obscura's newest record, My Maudlin Career, is perhaps its most impressive to date, blending a richness of sound and lyrical expressiveness that elevates it above any of its contemporaries.

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