camera obscura's new single begins like most proper camera obscura songs with a nice, pleasant, polite organ melody that's just this side of twee. however, a few seconds in when the drums kick in, you realize camera obscura has significantly improved as a band. gone are they wispy vocals, 'lloyd, i'm ready to be heartbroken' is a terrific single, and hopefully indicative of their upcoming album. it's stop-start-stop-star pacing keeps it interesting, and the switch to a minor chord at the beginning of the chorus is an unexpected, but pleasant, surprise. the strings could've been overbearing, but instead they add just the right embellishments.
'lloyd...' is more upbeat than anything they've ever done, suggesting that maybe they've ditched 'the stuart murdoch guide to scottish songwriting.' the hooks are huge and traceyanne's campbell's vocals are just so fantastic--a nice combination of vulnerability and enthusiasm. she sounds great, and more importantly, she sounds like she's having fun (not that she didn't before).
since i don't have any other superlatives to describe this single, i'll sum it up by saying it just plain old makes me happy to be alive. you'd be hard-pressed to find a better single released so far this year. Five stars.