alive and full of individuality...
Lynsey Ure
12:03 20th October 2008

'The Camel’s Back' is the third album from the dynamic duo Carim Clasmann and Gaia Durant, otherwise known as Psapp. Psapp have been perfecting their unique sound for six years, which saw them release their debut ‘Tiger My Friend’ and followed this with ‘The Only thing I ever Wanted’ which like The Camel’s Back were both eventually released on Domino records.  Psapp are renowned for creating their unique sound dubbed Toytronica, due to the fact they skilfully draw upon toy guitars, flutes, xylophones, kitchen appliances and basically anything they can make sound decent on a record.
Album opener ‘I Want That’ shows a clear development in style from the band you have shut themselves in a studio to let the hype that occurred during their previous release to die down. The song is bursting with enthusiasm with its catchy melody and brassy vocals, pathing the way for a very exciting album. ‘Part Like Waves’ has an endearing strings section which in places reminds you of the ‘About A Boy’ score by Badly Drawn Boy. Innocent, sweet, yet punchy and exciting all at once. ‘The Camels Back’ has tinkering of toy instruments such as xylophone weaving over delicate lyrics about love and loss. The short ditty is simple but effective as she sings “… it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back/and you can never make up for what I lack…”.
The first single from the album is due to be released 3/11/08 and will be ‘The Monster Song’. The tune has echoes of 90’s indie bands such as Sleeper and The Sneaker Pimps, a hugely catchy pop number which has you dancing around, again there is the use of toy instruments but none of this distracts from Durant’s dreamy vocal. The song brings warmth to the album and would be perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon in the sun. ‘Fix It’ has a deeper sound with funky staccato drums and melancholy guitar loops. While ‘Screws’ has a gentle and serious approach with a stripped back performance seeing the use of soft piano and vocals only taking centre stage until gentle synths are added for effect. Closing track ‘Parker’ has a Jazz/cabaret vibe to it, as though straight from a 50’s musical, the song has adequate “..doop, doop. doop…” backing vocals to back this as the band tinker with anything that can make an instrument.

Psapp have a unique sound that bands such as Slow Club are trying to recreate with there innocent and childlike approach to making music keeping it fresh and interesting. The record however does show signs of growing up and moving on but with a flare that keeps Psapp alive and full of individuality.

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