Album Review: The Hidden Cameras – ‘Origin: Orphan’

Indie heroes finally make good their live promise

This lot have been quietly putting on mindblowing and unique shows for years. From touting their flamboyant falsetto-driven indie ditties in front of 100,000 football fans (now that takes guts) to setting up elaborate stage-pieces complete with 40-strong dance troupes in art galleries, porn theatres, churches and parks, [a]The Hidden Cameras[/a] make for an utterly awesome live spectacle. But there was always just one teensy problem; their records weren’t half as entertaining. Now, ‘Origin: Orphan’ has saved the day. The sixth studio offering from [a]Joel Gibb[/a] and his merry cohorts marks a big fat notch on the masterpiece bedpost and exemplifies everything that is glorious and good about cleverly made pop music.

Bold and brassy from the start, it sweeps away any memories of stripped-down last effort ‘Awoo’ with a flurry of foreboding harmonies, dramatic strings and trotting drums. The opening note of six-minute epic ‘Ratify The New’ is sustained for what seems like aeons, heightening tension and, gulp, leaving NME frazzled, dry-mouthed and yet, oh so content by the time it has had its way with us. Things lighten up a from here-on in (they couldn’t get much more intense) as recent single ‘In The Na’ ushers in an abundance of playful melodies which trip along sweetly, buoyed by blasts of horns and orchestra, colliding head-first into synths, flutes, growling riffs and the tip-tap rhythms of a typewriter. What fun!

‘Origin: Orphan’ is the sound of [a]The Hidden Cameras[/a] finally proving they can make records as wham-bam powerful as their performances, with deliciously sumptuous results. About time too; confidence suits them.

Camilla Pia

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Click here to get your copy of The Hidden Cameras’ ‘Origin: Orphan’ from the Rough Trade shop.