Tracyanne & Danny

Tracyanne & Danny

Merge

May 25, 2018 Issue #63 - Courtney Barnett Bookmark and Share


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The voice of Tracyanne Campbell is among 21st century music's most precious commodities. Its increasingly rare appearances should elicit a public reaction akin to a supermoon lunar eclipse. After two decades fronting Camera Obscura, that band have ceased all activity following the tragic passing of their keyboardist Carey Lander in 2015, so this unexpected collaboration with Danny Coughlan, previously known as Crybaby, is a moment for reflection as much as celebration.

Campbell's lachrymal, maudlin vocals are never more at home than when drizzled over a romance-dappled nostalgia trip through the "rubble of a Saturday night", as on opener "Home and Dry." "I guess I'm missing how it used to be/When all we had to think about was you and me," is her particular way of phrasing such familiar subject matter this time around. The lyrics may seem trite, but so successfully do they conjure the '60s chanson ambience that it's hard to hold a grudge.

Campbell and Coughlan juggle vocal duties and whilst Coughlan's pipes may be limited by comparison, his words are no less keenly expressed. It was a chance meeting that set the ball rolling on this project, but the two already intertwine like intimate confidantes.

They smartly recruited Scottish royalty Edwyn Collins as producer and he lends a thick blanket of warmth to proceedings (and a gloriously unpredictable vocal cameo). Begin to scratch away the veneer, however, and you find curious secrets: "2006" sees Campbell dredging through the dusty pages of an old diary, only to be confronted with unfamiliar ghosts; stranger still, on "Cellophane Girl," Coughlan appears to be declaring his love for a doll. For two Brits, they also nurse a curious predilection for the romance of the U.S.: in addition to the pedal steel-heavy "Alabama," they end the album with "O'Keeffe," in which they play out their vicarious dreams of following the eponymous artist into a New Mexican retreat.

Tracyanne and Danny do not attempt anything formally complex on this first collaborationit is modest by design. It does, however, offer frequent moments of sincere beauty and sometimes that is enough. (http://www.camera-obscura.net) (www.ohcrybaby.co.uk)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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RepRightSongs
May 26th 2018
6:11am

that’s what I like to see about talented people. You have to strive to get the work done and at a mindset that it will be special once it comes.

Music is one of my biggest inspirations but when it comes to creating something special that everyone will like, lots of work is required in doing so.

Patience pays off though as most talented people such as Tracyanne & Danny probably know very well.