Camera Obscura – Desire Lines

Album Review by Chris Buckle | 29 May 2013
Album title: Desire Lines
Artist: Camera Obscura
Label: 4AD
Release date: 3 Jun

For those unfamiliar with the term, ‘desire line’ is the poetic name given to those winding dirt trails that appear when people walk a certain route enough times, eroding the land with a memory of their journey. But Camera Obscura’s fifth album is no shortcut or re-tread; rather, it’s the sound of a band following their hearts, comfortable and confident in their own skin.

On first impressions, Desire Lines conveys a warm familiarity, from lead single Do It Again’s indie-disco sashay to Fifth In Line To the Throne’s heart on sleeve sentiments. But tucked around the expected components is plenty of freshness, from the smooth, muzak-but-good intro of This Is Love (Feels Alright) to the calypso vibe of Every Weekday, via Troublemaker’s synth foundations. Lyrically, too, the songs excel, with New Year’s Resolution’s desire to “write something of value” answered multiple times over, destining Desire Lines for many revisits. [Chris Buckle]

Camera Obscura play The Liquid Room, Edinburgh on 4 Jun and Academy 2, Manchester on 5 Jun.