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Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Rural Alberta Advantage “Departing”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: The Rural Alberta Advantage
Album Title: Departing
Year released: 2011
Details: Black vinyl, 180 gram

The skinny: The sophomore record by Toronto-based indie folk-rock trio, The Rural Alberta Advantage, was released the year after I discovered them at Ottawa’s Bluesfest and then, fell in love with their debut. “Departing” is the logical next step in the band’s progression so it wasn’t a big leap for me to fall for it as well. The production is crisper and cleaner but it doesn’t take away from the raw energy and crazed percussion that made their first effort so hard to pull away from. Nils Edenloff’s rough hewn sneer is set against Amy Cole’s gentle backing echo, lyrics that paint love stories and memories of home. I only got this 180 gram, original pressing of the record recently, completing my collection of the band’s work (for now). The packaging is very similar aesthetically to the debut (which I featured in last weekend’s post), but the album cover is one of my favourites, a very Canadian image indeed.

Standout track: “Tornado 87”

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Vinyl

Vinyl love: Camera Obscura “Let’s get out of this country”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Camera Obscura
Album Title: Let’s get out of this country
Year released: 2006
Year reissued: 2009
Details: Black vinyl, 180 gram

The skinny: For their third album, Camera Obscura really did as the title suggested and got out of Scotland, travelling to Sweden to record it with producer Jari Haapalainen. They really wanted to shake things up after founding member John Henderson had left following the recording and touring cycle of their previous record. All of the tracks on this album were written and sung by Tracyanne Campbell, giving the band a static face and sound. The twee aesthetic is still there but there’s definitely a 60s motown influence about the whole proceedings. Indeed, “Let’s get out of this country” was where the band really built their name and I was lucky to score a copy of this reissue off Amazon at a decent price before they all disappeared. It hasn’t been reissued since and to get a copy of my favourite album by the band would cost me a heck of a lot more nowadays.

Standout track: “Lloyd, I’m ready to be heartbroken”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: Camera Obscura “Underachievers please try harder”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Camera Obscura
Album Title: Underachievers please try harder
Year released: 2003
Year reissued: 2008
Details: Black vinyl, remastered, 180 gram

The skinny: Given that it’s June and we are preparing to slip from Spring and into Summer, I thought it was time for a mini Vinyl Love series, one that featured a band that screams equal parts sunshine summer and wistful heartbreak sadness. Scotland’s Camera Obscura is exactly that, sporting a brand of twee indie pop shared by their perhaps more famous compatriots, Belle and Sebastian. In fact, I got into them with their second album, “Underachievers please try harder”, because of their connection to B&S frontman Stuart Murdoch. I did also enjoy the band’s debut, “Biggest bluest hi-fi”, but never did purchase it for my record collection so it is here that where we start our four part journey. This 180 gram reissue was released five years after the album’s initial release and the remastering is quite sweet. It is an album that flashes the potential of a band still finding its feet and yet, nonetheless exhibits some excellent tracks of note.

Standout track: “Suspended from class”