- Song: "French Navy"
- Artist: Camera Obscura
- CD: My Maudlin Career
- Genre: Pop
In jaded times, getting swept off one's feet isn't what it used to be. Tracyanne Campbell, lead singer of Glasgow's Camera Obscura, seems to know this better than anyone. In "French Navy," it's hard not to hear the hesitation in the verses: "You and your dietary restriction / Said you loved me with a lot of convention," she sings. Even the stuttering rhythm refuses to give in.
courtesy of the artist
Camera Obscura's "French Navy" serves up a sparkling pop rush, emotionally and musically.
But then comes the chorus, from its swooping string section to Campbell's declaration of "I wanted to control it / But love, I couldn't hold it." She's swept up in the moment, and so is the song, which suddenly feels like a slice of old-school pop circa 1966. (Imagine a more cynical Lulu.) It obviously won't last, and it doesn't; by song's end, she and her boy have parted ways. But "French Navy" is such a rush, emotionally and musically, that it's the farthest thing from gloomy. You just know there's another temporary soulmate waiting for Campbell right around the corner.
Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.
This story originally ran on May 13, 2009.