Camera Obscura

Certain songs can make such an impact on your psyche that specific times/dates/weather conditions can be recollected when thinking about that first moment when the melody, voice and sound entered your world. It's one of the wonders of music appreciation — and neurology — that a consciousness can be permanently altered through a series of notes to create a song like, say, "Dory Previn," by the Scottish band Camera Obscura. The slow, languid ballad is about escape, about disappearing under the covers, about being sick of whatever and vanishing inside a song, and a singer — someone like '50s songstress Dory Previn. It's a simple tune about a feeling. What's beautiful about it is the way Obscura vocalist Tracyanne Campbell conveys the idea while creating the circumstances for a similar escape – into a song called "Dory Previn": Beauty wrapped inside of desperation enveloped by sonic comfort. "How I adore you, Dory Previn," sings Campbell, "turned you up to 11." The band's latest album, last year's My Maudlin Career (4AD), features more snapshot narratives and smart, girl group-classicist pop, and manages to collect a dozen gorgeous such moments.

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