My Maudlin Career

by Camera Obscura

Original Release Date: 2009-04-20

My Maudlin Career

Camera Obscura perform a retro-twee pop that skirts between ‘60s girl-group homage and the skittering rhythms of fellow Scotsmen Belle and Sebastian, always with a sense of melancholy nagging our protagonist. Singer Tracyanne Campbell’s heart is always being broken and even when it’s not, her psyche is thrown off kilter by its manic swoon. The ensemble specializes in a blurry film noir where the sun breaks through the clouds just long enough to remind you that a storm is always brewing. “You Told a Lie” slows to reverb-ed strings and a dream-laced melody that channels the works of Lee Hazlewood and Serge Gainsbourg. “French Navy” captures the group at their most ebullient. “James” is a tour de force ballad brilliantly capturing the sorrow of a busted but somehow unrequited relationship. “Swans” swings with an optimistic Byrdsian folk-rock jangle amongst the reverb. The title track builds a Phil Spectorian wall of sound. “Other Towns and Cities” sounds as if someone threw Campbell down a deep dark well, which is where her emotions lead her anyway.


  1. French Navy (3:10)
  2. The Sweetest Thing (4:15)
  3. You Told A Lie (3:39)
  4. Away With Murder (4:00)
  5. Swans (3:59)
  6. James (3:40)
  7. Careless Love (4:23)
  8. My Maudlin Career (4:11)
  9. Forests & Sands (4:09)
  10. Other Towns & Cities (3:51)
  11. Honey In The Sun (5:35)

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Camera Obscura - French Navy official video

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Key Value
Wikipedia URL
Format Vinyl LP Album
Label 4AD
Catalog Number CAD 2907
Notes Gatefold Sleeve (P) & (C) 2009 Camera Obscura released under exclusive license to 4AD. Recorded in Atlantis Studio, Konst & Ramar studio and Cosmos Studio - Stockholm, Sweden. Mixed in Atlantis Studio - Stockholm, Sweden. All songs published by Universal Music. We’d like to dedicate this album to the memory of James Simpson Dunbar.
Discogs URL Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career