Camera Obscura: Underachievers Please Try Harder LP

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There are groups who grew up with Elefant Records, who were a turning point for the label and its development, and who fill us with pride when we look back and see their discography and the milestones they have reached. All of this is coming up because of CAMERA OBSCURA, that group that Stuart Murdoch (BELLE & SEBASTIAN) discovered and which he became obsessed with, to the point of producing their third single (“Eighties Fan”), directing the corresponding music video, doing the arrangements on their first album, and so many more things. We fell in love with that song and it made us license their first album, “Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi” for the whole world, and then sign them with Elefant Records and release their following two albums on our label for the entire planet, until they wound up signing with 4AD, the label that groups like COCTEAU TWINS, STEREOLAB, THE NATIONAL, GRIMES and the PIXIES spent time with.

The time has come to re-release those two sought after albums that have been out of print for so long on vinyl, “Underachievers Please Try Harder” (2003) and “Let’s Get Out Of This Country” (2006). The latter was their definitive confirmation, the album that brought them to perform halfway around the world and made them known by a larger audience than the gem hunters who already loved them from their first album “Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi”. “Underachievers Please Try Harder” is the album with “Teenager”, “A Sister Social Agony”, “Keep It Clean” and “Suspended From Class”; it is the album on which Stuart Murdoch continues showing his support for the band with the cover photo; the album produced by Geoff Allan (who has also worked with other illustrious Scottish bands like MOGWAI, TEENAGE FANCLUB, THE DELGADOS, ARAB STRAP and BELLE & SEBASTIAN); the album that quickly surpassed 100.000 sold copies, a number that causes a bit of vertigo nowadays; the album that put them at the top of indie lists in the United States, and that was included on an episode of our beloved “Gilmore Girls”.

“Let’s Get Out Of This Country” is the album of maturity, the album of a group that has a solid international position and how they approach this third album that will immortalize them. It was recorded in Sweden and produced by Jari Haapalainen (Ed Harcourt, THE CONCRETES), and with it, Tracyanne Campbell and company made the definitive leap with their arrangements, energy, harmonies and composition. Some of the musicians that recorded the strings had recently toured with Brian Wilson and Arthur Lee & LOVE. The album’s collaborators include Victoria Bergsman from THE CONCRETES, Britta Persson and members of Swedish groups like THE TOURETTES, LAAKSO and SPEEDMARKET AVENUE. And we get “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken”, “Tears For Affairs”, “Razzle Dazzle Rose” and “Let’s Get Out Of This Country” to confirm this. And of course, they toured the ENTIRE world. And they were sounding on “Grey’s Anatomy”. And in the end 4AD came to sign a group that had become gigantic.

This is a special opportunity to acquire two vinyls that haven’t been available in stores for many years, and that are absolutely delicious, and absolutely necessary for any pop lover’s music collection. “Underachievers Please Try Harder” is being reissued in orange colour vinyl and “Let’s Get Out Of This Country” in transparent vinyl.

With almost seven years of working together, we shared some of the most exciting and wonderful moments we have ever had here at Elefant, and that bonded us all together forever.

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