Hidden Cameras
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Hidden Cameras

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


This band has no press


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


I’ve got 25 bucks can you save my reputation?

So asks The Hidden Cameras’ singer Joel Gibb in “AWOO”, the title track from the band’s third studio album. Not that these Cameras need saving at all, but it never hurts to find out the price one may have to pay.

Primarily recorded last summer at the Gas Station on Toronto Island by Don Kerr (Ron Sexsmith), with “For Fun” and “Learning The Lie” engineered by Ohad Benchetrit (Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene) at his home studio. From the Hidden Cameras’ earliest days, Joel has produced all Hidden Cameras material: AWOO is no exception, with a resulting sound that is dazzling and maybe a little disorienting.

“I used guitar pedals for the first time, which was fun,” Joel said in a recent interview about the shift in sound. “Some of the songs are more rock, but there are lots of ballads, too. The last album was an experiment in density; just piling everything on. With this album we let things breathe more. There’s no harp, no horns. I just wanted the elements that would be there to be there for a reason.”

The album is called AWOO “because I like the idea of a record named after a sound. Like a dog call in a way, but it can mean other things. It can be a grunt or it could be a collection of letters you look at and intellecutalise.”

AWOO explores ideas of religion, mortality and nature – Joel calls it a “sex death cult album” – without forsaking the brilliant pop songs the band became known for with Smell Of Our Own and Mississauga Goddam.

The touring line-up is Maggie MacDonald (glockenspiel/keyboard), Mike E.B. (keyboard/piano), Mike Olsen (cello) and David “Mez” Mezlin (bass/percussion), Paul Mathew (bass), Lief Mosbaugh (viola), Lex Vaughn (drums) and Jamie McCarthy (violin).

The album’s first video, for “AWOO”, finds the band walking through a dark forest lit only by flashlights and the moon above. It’s no coincidence that the moon also appears on AWOO’s cover and in the song “the Waning mOOn”.

“I like the idea of the moon determining everything, from the amount of moisture in your body to the tides,” says Joel. “It’s kind of nature worship. A little bit of sex magick and paganism. It’s continuing the whole cult idea of the band.”