Camera Obscure (the band) and similar music

I’m a big fan of Camera Obscura and Belle & Sebastian.

I’m looking for similar indie rock that’s consistently pleasant, warm, relaxing, melodically catchy, sincere and perhaps a bit nostalgic. A core requirement is that the beat never reaches above the noise-level capacity of brushed drums; we’re talking fireside-type relaxing here. Trumpets are a plus. Folk is not an option.

Similar bands that (usually, but not consistently) fit the bill are The American Analog Set, Low, Azure Ray, Saturday Looks Good to Me, George, The Concretes, The Gentle Waves, Under byen, Beulah, Sufjan Stevens and Yo La Tengo. On the flip side, I already know about Blanket Music and Tullycraft, which come across as insincere Belle & Sebastian copycats.

Oh yes, and Kings of Convenience.

And if a moderator should pass by, he/she might want to correct my spelling of the band name in thread title.

I haven’t heard anything by Camera Obscura, but from your description I think you might like Tilly and the Wall. They are as pleasant as can be, with unobtrusive and unique percussion (the lead singer tap-dances the beats).

Belle & Sebastian

aaaahhhhhh… :slight_smile:

I love Tilly, but they don’t really fit my description. It’s pretty intense and boisterous music – the tap dancing and big singalongs make for a pretty noisy experience, in a multicoloured psychedelic kind of way. The few quiet songs are perfect, though. (If you like Tilly, though, check out Architecture in Helsinki, another tumultuously happy band with perfect melodies and tendencies towards electronic flourishes and odd arrangements.)

The Decemberists.

Yeah, they’re mentioned in the OP.

They have their quiet moments, to be sure – I love accordions – but generally they’re much too intense and noisy to fit the OP. Plus, Colin Meloy has a squeaky, nasal voice that’s about as pleasant as a foghorn.

Even though that is some of my favorite music, I can only really offer you a couple of suggestions.

First, Sparklehorse and second, Ego Wrappin’. The former is insanely mellow and melodic with a random assortment of musical instruments and an equally diverse selection of music to match. Some of their stuff is really upbeat Tilly and the Wall affairs, but things like Hundreds of Sparrows and More Yellow Birds are the sweet twee spot.

The latter is a Japanese lounge band that has, at times, Sufjan Stevens overtones.

I’d also suggest Postal Service, Iron and Wine, the Shins, The Robot Ate Me, Beck (the Sea Change album), Neutral Milk Hotel, and Ben Kweller, but you probably already know them. Regardless, they only vaguely fit your description and I have included them for completeness only.

(If any of these bands work for you I can probably dig up some more, so just let me know.)

Not sure if any of these fit your bill precisely, but maybe something you’d be interested in…
**Sigur Ros ** - you probably already know of them though. Icelandic band.
Do Make Say Think - post-rock meets dub and lounge is one description I’ve heard. I have their albums “& yet & yet” and “goodbye enemy airship…” Both are excellent. And you get your trumpets. I think you’ll like them.
Frankie Sparo - a bit different from your examples… he’s a solo artist. “Picture a sobered-up cabaret singer in an empty club, maroon suit and a cigarette, a wall of sound and a dagger.” (from a review on the label website) Not exactly cheerful summer stuff…
Ambulance Ltd. - Again you probably know them. I don’t know much about them… my friend sent me some stuff by them and I liked it. Fits in with your other listed bands pretty well…

DMST and Frankie Sparo are both on Constellation Records label. Everything there is amazing (more or less).

You know, I don’t even really like Tullycraft, but they have always sounded like they do and were around a good five or six years before Belle & Sebastian. I love B&S to death, but innovators of sound they are not. You’ll find hundreds of indie-pop bands that sound like them, most of whom were cranking out records in the eighties and early nineties.

Start with Sarah Records. Buy the Field Mice rereleases. Later this year The Orchids are getting the reissue treatment as well. Pre-Oasis Creation bands are a good jumping-off point as well, particularly Felt who B&S are big fans of. And all fey Scottish pop bands owe a large debt to Orange Juice.

More modern labels releasing stuff in this vein are Labrador, Matineé, and Shelflife. All have websites.

You might also check out Cousteau (sample the song “The Last Good Day of the Year,” which was used in a car commercial), Tindersticks, and Pale Saints.

Some others you might like:

The Go-Betweens
Cocteau Twins
The Innocence Mission
The Boy Least Likely To
Everything But The Girl