Camera Obscura’s latest release Look to the East, Look to the West is a quest in revelation which layers ethereal and whimsical tones, reminding fans exactly why they love the Glaswegian five-piece.

This album is the perfect summer listen due to the melodic vocals which combine with experimental arrangements. The first guitar pluck of the album instantly soothes the mind. ‘Liberty Print’ and it’s synth-like ring sets the playful and fanciful tone. There’s even an instrumental intermission which reminded me of playing Mario Kart as a kid, in such an amazing way.

‘We’re Going to Make It in a Man’s World’ is an excellent study in feminism, determination and melody. The ironic, yet sincere ballad navigates the realities of being women in the music industry; the lyricism profound and real while managing to avoid the pitfalls of bitterness. The hopeful tones show an outright determination to succeed in a world not set up for women to succeed. The ironic elements of the track made me smile, for example: “accountability wants to know the score”; an attack on the lack of accountability for misogynistically rooted behaviours. Even though the song explores serious themes, it is nevertheless summery and hopeful, the  backing vocals during the closing seconds continuing the record’s tranquil tones.

Lead single ‘Big Love’ exemplifies the band’s genre-bending abilities as it fluctuates between country and rock. This breakup anthem tackles the complexity of wanting to return to unhealthy relationships whilst providing positive perspectives on breakups, all presented through a folksy sound.

Camera Obscura’s sound is still uniquely layered despite this being their first release in over ten years. There is a level of sophistication to the album which isn’t snobby, but fresh and distinctive, perfectly suiting the delightful dose of indie pop that this record is.