Camera Shy

Camera Shy

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Bay Area indie pop duo Camera Shy strip away the shoegaze noise of their parent band Whirr on their 2015 self-titled debut. The project of Whirr guitarist Nick Bassett and former Whirr vocalist Alexandra Morte, Camera Shy formed in early 2014 and quickly released an affable, reverb-marinated EP on the Run for Cover label called Jack-O-Lantern. Building on the Spartan two-guitar landscapes of their EP, they've appointed a part-time rhythm section for much of their debut, making for something a bit more robust yet just as breezy. The immediate stylistic touchstones here are the gentle pop of '90s acts like the Sundays, the Softies, and various other bands that skirted the edges of dream pop, twee, and what was, at one time, considered college rock. Lacking the dense shoegaze fog to hang out in front like a curtain of bangs, the focus shifts to Morte's delicate voice and wistful, lovelorn lyrics. Tracks like "Remember" and "Take Your Time," with their pleasant pop jangle and sweet melodies, are among the album's more colorful offerings. Elsewhere, the languid "Glowing" and the shimmering "Underwater Days" feel more in line with their earlier efforts, while the washed-out, trumpet-assisted "Seemingly Ill" hangs out like a distant, five-minute daydream. It's a generally pleasant affair, but as one tentatively played, misty-eyed track blends into another, there's a feeling of having heard this all before. It's hard to fault Camera Shy for capturing a consistently nice feeling on tape, but aside from that, they struggle to identify themselves beyond their influences.

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