Conflicting yet cohesive, Sydney’s CAMERAS offer a distinctive two-sided sound. With two songwriters sharing lead vocal duties, the trio intertwine a dizzying intensity with a haunting atmosphere.
Fraser Harvey’s big progressive guitar sound juxtaposes with Eleanor Dunlop’s hypnotizing vocals and classically trained keys, making CAMERAS a beautiful collision of polar opposites - the anthemic crescendo of Arcade Fire meeting the smoky etherealness of Cat Power. But the reference points come from further and wider than that. Thumb through their record collections and you’ll find The Eurythmics alongside The White Stripes, Paul Simon next to The Velvet Underground, and Blondie, Radiohead and David Bowie all rubbing shoulders. With such eclectic influences, CAMERAS do not slot snugly into any particular genre, nor would they want to.
And so for the history lesson. CAMERAS’ story begins in early 2008. Eleanor had recorded her own EP and was the winner of the Triple J Unearthed Top Song competition, but chose not to take the solo route. Instead, over a fateful coffee one morning, she decided to team up with Fraser, with whom she shared a love of sea shanties and space rock. When friend and drummer Ben Kingshott transformed the duo into a trio, the jigsaw was complete.
The story continues with a montage of red wine-fuelled studio sessions, resulting in a couple of demos, the second of which was lovingly crafted under the watchful eye of producer Scott Horscroft (The Presets/Silverchair/The Panics/The Sleepy Jackson). Within a year, Cameras’ mesmerising live show had wooed crowds at all of the major venues in Sydney. As well as playing heaps of their own shows, the incredibly hardworking trio have supported Dukes Of Windsor, Art Vs Science, and Cut Copy DJ’s. They also played at the Come Together Festival 09 alongside Midnight Juggernaughts and Datarock and performed as part of a Save FBi benefit gig at The Metro.
Reviews of their haunting performances burst with superlatives, so it was inevitable that radio stations would soon take notice, and CAMERAS subsequently received airplay across FBi, Triple J, Triple M and Triple R. In addition, FOXTEL used the song “Defeatist” in a TV ad campaign. As part of an initiative with Triple J, a video clip for track “June” has been directed and produced by Master of Directing students from NIDA.
Soon word began to spread. Fittingly, considering their burning desire to make their mark on the music scenes in America and Europe, the band were placed on a US College radio sampler as part of a collection of “Best Australian Up & Coming Acts” alongside Children Collide and Eskimo Joe, leading to the development of an overseas fanbase hungry for more. In March 2009 the band was both a Myspace Feature Artist and CMJ Feature Artist.
Epically sound-tracking the sweeping landscapes of your emotions, while remaining infectious enough to dance your legs off to on a Saturday night, CAMERAS are one of the most intriguing, artistic and unique bands in Australia.