Camera Obscura – We’re Going To Make It In A Man’s World

9th March 2024 · 2020s, 2024, Music

The title of this song says it all: “We’re Going to Make It in a Man’s World.” It’s from the first new album by Scottish band Camera Obscura for more than ten years.

They’ve always been a little bit twee for my liking (as with fellow Scots indie band Belle & Sebastian), but the country-tinged twang to their sound is as pleasing to my ears as the insistent message of female empowerment.

Tracyanne Campbell’s voice is almost conversational and blends sweetly with the keyboards of Donna Maciocia and Tim Davidson’s pedal steel guitar, and producer Jari Haapalainen recaptures the sound of their earlier albums Let’s Get Out Of This Country (2006) and My Maudlin Career (2009).

Campbell co-wrote the song with Maciocia for filmmaker Margaret Salmon’s 2021 film Icarus (After Amelia); recurring figures in Camera Obscura’s story.

It was Salmon who shot the cover photo for new album Look To The East, Look To The West – the group’s first since the death of founder member Carey Lander almost a decade ago.

The photo features Fiona Morrison, who had also been on the cover of Camera Obscura’s debut, Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi, and (*trivia alert) the new album was recorded in the very same room where Queen wrote Bohemian Rhapsody half a century ago.

“It is a bit tongue-in-cheek with a serious message at its core,” says Campbell. “As middle-aged women in the music industry, are we relevant? Who is interested in us? Where’s our place in an industry where women are so underrepresented?”