Sunday, May 18, 2008

California Snow Story--Close to the Ocean (2007)

Artist-California Snow Story
Album-Close to the Ocean
Release Date-May 21, 2007
Genre/Style-Indie Pop


Review-(Reviewed by Tommy Gunnarsson) I remember when I first heard California Snow Story’s first EP 'One Good Summer' (released on the brilliant Shelflife label back in 2002), and the first thought that came up in my head was “they must have listened a lot to Camera Obscura”.

What I didn’t know at that point was that the songwriter for California Snow Story is David Skirving, once the guitarist for, surprise surprise, Camera Obscura. He left the band before they released their debut album, 'Biggest Bluest Hi Fi' even though he wrote some songs for it, and instead he joined forces with Anna Barrek and formed his own band. That was five years ago, and now David is back again, with a new vocalist, Sandra Belda Martínez from Spain (and of Superéte fame), and a long awaited debut album, 'Close to the Ocean'.

So, has the sound changed during the five year break ? Well, not much, really. The first song, 'Begin Again', is a nice slice of pop, closely resembling the sound of early Camera Obscura. Actually, my girlfriend who didn't know what I had on CD player said “isn’t this that Camera Obscura song, 'Your Sound ?'” when I was listening to the album for the first time. And so it goes on for the rest of the album… Reading this, I see that I may sound negative, but I’m not. Honestly!

This is a good album, and I wish I could avoid writing about David’s past, which would be lot easier if he was doing a totally different kind of music. He isn’t, but I like California Snow Story anyway.

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