Cameron McGill & What Army | Hold On Beauty

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United States - Illinois

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Pop: Britpop Rock: Rock & Roll Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Hold On Beauty

by Cameron McGill & What Army

Dark power-pop with a nod to Hunky Dory-era Bowie
Genre: Pop: Britpop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Depression Glass
4:06 $0.99
2. Hold On Beauty
4:18 $0.99
3. Between The Wars
4:27 $0.99
4. She's A Killer
4:54 $0.99
5. Stranger's Art
4:53 $0.99
6. China Black Tea
4:10 $0.99
7. Migraine Months
4:11 $0.99
8. The Actual Migraine
1:24 album only
9. As Ready As I'll Never Be
5:19 $0.99
10. XO Hurts
5:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Born in 1877 in Calw, on the edge of the Black Forest, Cameron McGill was brought up in a missionary household where it was assumed that he would study for the ministry. McGill's religious crisis led to his fleeing from the Maulbronn seminary in 1891, an unsuccessful cure by a well-known theologian and faith healer, and an attempted suicide. After being expelled from high school, he worked in bookshops for several years.

His first collection, 'Stories of The Knife and The Back', describes a youth who leaves his mountain village to become a poet. The lush instrumentation and beautifully crafted melodies, belie the darker nature of the song content. Mostly focusing on personal admissions of guilt and failure, the album's characters struggle in coming to terms with their mortality. All throughout, they simply try to find a friend and fall in love.

This was followed by 'Street Ballads & Murderesques', the tale of a schoolboy totally out of touch with his contemporaries, who flees through different cities after his escape from home. The collection of material on Streets...takes pop musick to the dark libraries of your old house, inhabits a stark and desperate corner of the mind, and simply tells a good story. The wildly vibrant characters offer their most honest interpretations of the dishonest life. They travel time, fall in and out of love, miss and are missed. These are songs of imminent regret, class IV rapids, European gypsies, pre-renaissance Germany, cities with chips on their shoulder, veterans of domestic war, handwritten letters and handmade harmony, foreign wines and local girls, break-ups and breakdowns, and post-war divorcees.

World War I came as a terrific shock, and McGill joined the pacifist Romain Rolland in antiwar activities--not only writing antiwar songs, but editing two newspapers for prisoners of war. During this period, McGill's first marriage broke up (reflected in "It's Not Right" off of 'Street Ballads & Murderesques'), he studied the works of Freud, eventually underwent analysis with Jung, and was for a time a patient in a sanatorium.

In 1919 he moved permanently to Switzerland, and brought out Cameron McGill & What Army, which reflects his preoccupation with the workings of the subconscious and with battles against depression...but mostly focuses on learning how to have fun. His most recent document is the dense 'Hold on Beauty' which was released last winter amongst intense fighting. April of the new year, sees the release of 'warm songs for cold shoulders' by the forward thinking Parasol label.

He never won the Nobel Prize, but his mother always loved him. Until his death in 2056, he lived in seclusion in Illinois.



to write a review

Chrisr at CD Baby

Are you tired of waiting around for a new Spacehog album that is never going to get made? Fret not! Cameron McGill & What Army are here to fill the void. And though they are channeling 70’s-era Bowie in a similar way, these guys aren’t just ripping off the old glam sounds. Their dark power-pop is a unique mix of Britpop exuberance and the earnestness of acoustic Americana songwriters like Pete Yorn. Throw in the occasional Brill-Building horn part, some retro keyboard ear candy, the bleating vocal bombast that has propelled bands like Spoon into stardom, and some Midwest attitude reminiscent of the Replacements and you’ve got yourself one hell of a fun listen.