How NOT to write about music – 62. Deadbeat & Camara

Deadbeat & Camera

It was This Mortal Coil who reinvented Alex Chilton for a new generation.

OK, that’s all I have to say. No, wait…

Making the connection to this new album from Deadbeat & Camara is like doing one of those dot-to-dot drawings where all the dots have been placed so closely together you can already work out the picture. Intensely complicated, ultra rewarding.

Deadbeat & Camara are on Canadian label Constellation (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, Tindersticks) and… I think you can sense what I’m going to type here. The dots have already been joined.

No, wait…

So, frankly, when the press release details the forthcoming album Trinity Thirty along the lines of, “Initially imagining they would run a fair amount of electronic treatments during the mix, Deadbeat and Camara instead found themselves absorbed by the spaces and silences, guided by a spirit of preservation and restraint, in homage to the original. The result is ‘a less electronic album than we imagined making’: a gorgeous somnambulant collection of ‘covers of covers’, where the reference point is always the Cowboy Junkies original approach, stretched to new and beguiling limits of deceleration and narcotized spaciousness – a sensibility further reinforced by the mastering treatment of minimalist dub-techno legend Stefan Betke (~scape, Pole). Trinity Thirty is a wonderfully languid, subtly avant-garde, conceptually reverent acoustic-meets-electronic interpretation of this classic album”, I cannot deny that

  1. I am hooked
  2. already imaging exactly what such an album would sound like (in my dreams, in my dreams), even if
  3. I cannot deny that I downloaded a copy because I initially thought I was getting a newly-remastered half-speed version of the actual The Trinity Session.

Um. No matter

They also say, “Deadbeat & Camara are thrilled to share ‘Working On A Building’ ahead of the album’s release next month. The Berlin-based Canadian duo reshape the original Cowboy Junkies arrangement into a tense, slow burn. A languid yet insistent bass line anchors hushed, spectral vocals from Monteith, Camara, and guest singer Caoimhe McAlister, while accents of plucked acoustic strings and snippets of mechanical sound harken back to its origins as a traditional work song. Listen to it now in advance of Trinity Thirty‘s release on 26 April”, but let me unpick that for you.

This dub techno version of Cowboy Junkies is quite something.

Here’s the pull quote for the barricades:

“Berlin-based Canadian duo Deadbeat & Camara do for Cowboy Junkies what This Mortal Coil did for Big Star, a sparkling, magical reinvention” (UK music critic Everett True, 2019)