In the new single “Natalie” by New York rockers Camera2, the curious lines “But I just need you to know I feel you and it’s beautiful the moment I laid eyes on you / I knew I really knew you / But you’re still so careful” declare so much more than a connection with a resiliency most of us spend a lot of time trying to master in our personal lives. What we’re being presented with in lyrics like these suggests a deeper desire to get away from insularity and actually feel someone else. Considering the predominant trends in American pop music today, that makes Camera2’s style of poetry quite a unique offering indeed.
The video for “Natalie” essentially takes the premise of the lyricism here and goes into another dimension of surrealism, touching on themes of vampirism that aren’t boxed in by some sort of hackneyed Halloween theatrics. The symbolism is impossible to miss – unless you’re the most surface-level listener in the history of pop.
It alludes to an even grander depth within the artistry of this band that producers would have been foolish not to highlight in this scenario. Deep-feeling rock doesn’t have to drift into emo, and a release like this reminds us as much.
There are so many different ways we could break down the contrast between the beats and the harmony in this single. Especially as we progress through the song, but at no point does the deliberate disconnect between the atmospheric tones and the steady, gritty percussion grow overwhelming. A little bit of discord can go a long way when it’s purposed properly, and it’s more than obvious listening to “Natalie” that Camera2 were thinking about this very fact when they were putting the final compositional touches on this piece.
Watch the official video for “Natalie” below
I honestly love the way the beat evolves here, and despite the jaggedness of the arrangement it never sounds like an afterthought beside the decadence of the understated vocal harmony at the forefront of the mix. It actually reminds me quite a bit of the indie singer/songwriter and UK underground icon Howard James Kenny. Specifically with regards to how the otherwise electronic frills are safeguarded by the consistency of the rhythm. Nothing ever sounds synthesized or out of place in this arrangement. That takes time, patience, as well as a greater grasp of tone, which is something Camera2 clearly have in spades.
“Natalie” is delicate, unsheltered, and forward in its stunning emission of light sonic indulgences. From my perspective it’s actually sporting one of the most stunning videos to debut from an indie source in the last couple of months. To put it as simply as possible, what Camera2 have developed here is worth putting whatever you’re listening to in this moment aside in the name of exploring their capabilities as a band, which, as I’m sure I won’t be the only critic to note, are not something you can expect to find every day on the FM dial.