pass it on {04.10.08}

indefinite hiatus, thank you to all that have been reading the blog, please stay safe & sound.

Love, team cameracrowd

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Upcoming release: Memphis's A Little Place in the Wilderness

Although Canada is America's next-door neighbor, we still have not even skimmed the surface of the Canadian music scene. It is time to extend a hand and help them cross over this great divide. I have a feeling this long distance relationship will work. Maybe this is because I use to live in Toronto for five years, but also the Canadian bands that have crossed the border have been nothing but a breath of fresh air. Note: Arcade Fire, The New Pornographers, Stars, Do Make Say Think Metric, Feist, Broken Social Scene and now Memphis! Here's to making this list longer.

{If you are in a hurry, skip to "on the album..." paragraph.}

Where it all started...
On the gray streets of New York City where dreams are said to come true Torquil Campbell met Chris Dumont and formed a band with some of Campbell's childhood friends: Chris Seligman, James (Jimmy) Shaw and Adam Marvy called Luxe, this was in the early '90s. After awhile Seligman and Campbell moved onto the beloved Stars, while Shaw teamed up with Emily Haines forming Metric in 1998.

Dumont, who was originally from North Carolina continued working as a carousel operator in New York's Central Park. Campbell invited him to Vancouver one summer and Memphis arrived into the world. The two released an EP called A Good Day Sailing in 2002 and for the next two summers was filled with writing and recording for Memphis's first full-length album, which was released in 2004 on Paper Bag Records. They recorded their sophomore album, A Little Place in the Wilderness, in a Vancouver hotel room and at Studio Plateau located in Montreal during the winter. Canada had its hands on this album since August, but we will still have to wait to see it on shelves in early 2007.

On the album...
There are too few albums that I know of, which I can play the whole way through without skipping a track or two. Good thing Memphis's upcoming album, A Little Place in the Wilderness falls into that category. I can pop it in the stereo and sit back comfortably without lifting a finger. And as I sit back and ponder with the welcoming laid-back pop sounds that will make listeners dreamy-eyed and hopeful, I feel a soft, airy atmosphere that will wrap around even innocent bystanders.

This airy feel is partly from Torquil Campbell's unique voice that sounds weightless and smooth paired with the subtle echoes that makes it sound like there are two Torquil Campbells instead of one! Fear not, there are playful jazzy songs like "Incredibly Drunk on Whiskey" incorporating a saxophone and clarinet and a lively, fun "I'll Do Whatever You Want" that may feel more like it belongs in the Stars catalog.

There is a lone violin that will dip and soar throughout, but unlike the climatic feel of Stars, there is a gentleness in all the instruments on the album, like the yearning of the pedal steel and the long notes by Jimmy Shaw (Metric) on trumpets and bass. Even the drums sound somewhat distanced from the listener with its faraway crashes of cymbals. This all helps the listener sink into Campbell's voice and dream away.

Track by Track

{Hover over the track title for a short description and right click to download}

A Little Place In The Wilderness
| Memphis

  1. I Dreamed We Fell Apart
  2. In The Cinema Alone
  3. Incredibly Drunk On Whiskey
  4. Time Away
  5. A Ghost Story
  6. A Little Place In The Wilderness
  7. I'll Do Whatever You Want
  8. Swallows And Amazons
  9. In The Highest Room
  10. The Night Watchmen


>>> Memphis's Official Site
<<< Hear more songs on MySpace
>>> Buy the import!
<<< Watch video of "I'll Do Whatever You Want" directed by Daniel Handler who wrote the Lemony Snicket series

Word of advice: since there is not a set release date decided (early 2007...sometime) for this album just yet, you can go sign up on their mailing list so you won't miss it when it does. Just go to their site and click on news, type in your email address and you're all set.



Roland said...

I really like "I'll Do Whatever You Want," but I still think Stars is a stronger band. Thanks for review!

Wayne said...

the canadian talent pool is running very deep at the moment, i would add sunset rubdown and chad vangaalen to the list. the memphis songs are very pretty, obviously similar to stars.

i forgot to mention midlake did the movie screen in the background, very cool. i can't believe the bands coming out of texas, such talent.
i had a look at your photos on flickr, very impressed, i can't believe you saw voxtrot, beirut and hawk and a hacksaw in one night, what a show that must have been.
thanks for comments anne, i'll keep an eye on what you have coming up.

a camera in the crowd said...

yeah I was so lucky to catch all three amazing bands in one night and believe me it was glorious!

Sunset Rubdown and Chad Vangaalen! How could I forget?!

Austin bands are to die for.