London rock / synthpop amalgamation Secret Cameras are releasing their self-titled debut EP on March 17th, and it is a golden release. If I held a physical copy of the album in my hands, it would shine with a dazzling aura because it is so good. I would lose my eyesight staring directly at this masterpiece as a person would if they stared directly at the Sun.
The way the drums fade in halfway through ‘It’s Never Over’, the way vocalist Itamar’s voice soars in ‘Beautiful’, etcetera. The listener will conceive of their own “ways”, tailored to their individual tastes, as the songs bounce cleanly from standard guitar music to cavernous electronica.
The band members in Secret Cameras each have an extensive history in live performance, with experience at Leeds Festival, the Club NME Tour and other relatively big-time venues that few musical acts succeed in reaching. The discipline and goal-sightedness involved in progressing so far through the competitive, sludge-esque music business of today shows in the effort put in to every track.
My personal favourite two tracks are the first two in the EP, which themselves have had interesting music videos produced that I implore all readers to search for and watch on YouTube. ‘It Doesn’t Matter’ introduces the listener to the album with a nice and steady buildup, with the chorus line an enjoyable vast composition. It’s the sort of song you listen to with headphones in while strolling or cycling down city streets, thinking about deep shit.
Second track ‘Going Places’ is an alternately rougher listen, and the vocalist sounds a lot like David Bowie. The repeating line following the chorus that concludes the song will infect your mind, just as Bowie himself was so devilish to pull off.
The theory behind these songs are intriguing – they aren’t put together so simply as standard pop songs are. The intertwining fabric of synth and guitar in each track is a beautiful effect to hear. Every song sounds like a dream. ‘For You’ is a specific example of an archetypal dreamy song – the reverb effect on the guitar forms a backing thread of space. If Space itself (with a capital S) could carry soundwaves through its nothingness, this sort of sound would be what I imagine to be present as every planet and star propel with gravity across its infinite space.
‘When This Ends’ is a good song to position as the last in the EP. A surreal piece with a greater synth role, the song tails off with a long fade after the synth orchestration climax. The song itself is slow-paced though it is not quiet by any means – the wall of sound at the rear of the vocal line makes sure of that. There is a German electronic musician who performs under the alias ‘Gas’, whose music is very similar to this final track.
I would also implore the readers of this review to check out Gas – if they wish to listen to any artists like Secret Cameras – after they have bought ten copies of the latter’s debut release to treasure one for themselves and gift the nine remaining copies to any adult or child celebrating a birthday, wedding or baby shower in the near future.
Secret Cameras exhibit a lot of effort in their work, and they should be proud of their first release. Here’s to their continued success!
A special EP launch gig will be performed at the 229 venue in London on March 17th.