REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha


Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Barbara Lenhoff to her mum, Camilla Sparksss offers up a debut of stark electronica

for you the wild

'For You The Wild' by Camilla Sparksss, out now on Africantape / On The Camper

There are a few things that I’m sure of about
Camilla Sparksss;

  1. That Sparksss definitely has three Ss at the end. So sure of this am I that I’ve added it to my dictionary in Microsoft Word. Other word processing software is available.

  2. That she has, at some point, listened to Peaches, Grimes and Aphex Twin at some point in her life. This is pretty much indisputable, despite having never met her.

  3. She has had somewhat of a free artistic licence in making this (her debut), ‘For You The Wild’ and it shows.

  4. She is 30 years of age and lives with a small bear in Ontario, Canada. Or possibly Switzerland. Somewhere cold, anyway.

Those are enough facts for now. Except for the one that I’ve had to listen to this album through at least 5 or 6 times to actually get to grips with it and make sure that I’m not being lulled into a false sense of security. This record has seemingly been a long time in the making; a few of the ten songs on here (‘Move Like A Shark, ‘Precious People’ & ‘You Are Awesome’) have been knocking around for a good year or so now, complete with music videos. There may have been tweaking behind the scenes in the final mastering but it’s difficult to see where as it remains pretty raw throughout. I don’t particularly like people who are able to sum up an album and an artist in one line (mainly through envy), but the person who sent me this – mentioning no names – described it to me thus;
“…kind of cool Grimes meets MIA meets the drive soundtrack meets Kim Gordon” And the fact is, he’s right. Despite the name-checks earlier, the nail has been hit firmly on the head as there is the all-knowing naivety of the former, the vocal tics of the middle artist and the attitude of the latter all neatly condensed into 10 songs. But here’s the problem, Sparksss doesn’t quite hit the high benchmark that those others do at any point in this record. There’s still something not quite there, despite the initial promise of the opening brace of tunes. Regardless of this making no sense, I’m going to say it anyway; you know that you are listening to it, but it is still somehow background music. A few songs in, and it’s there – in your head – but then you start cooking eggs, or feeding the cat and it fades into the distance for a bit. Then, all of a sudden, BAM! ...that’s a nice hook/turn of phrase, you’re listening again. And then you listen to ‘Killer’ which is a bit of a duffer, and get back to seasoning your lunch. After all of these listens, I’m still not bored of it and yet I’m still not entirely convinced. In some songs it sounds as if Sparksss has really worked hard in crafting a memorable tune, or at least a memorable chorus. At some points in others, she sounds like someone from ‘Made In Chelsea’ ploughing through Republica’s ‘Ready To Go’ at karaoke. Try it for yourself… it might just be me.
Rating: 7/10