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The Hidden Cameras

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A mix of queer politics, explicit sexuality, symphonic indie pop, and theatrical spectacle that borders on the religious, Toronto's the Hidden Cameras are the brainchild of singer/songwriter/guitarist Joel Gibb. The 2001 debut album Ecce Homo -- a collection of four-track demos released on Gibb's own Evil Evil imprint -- introduced a stripped-down version of the Hidden Cameras' witty, acoustic-based songwriting, which drew comparisons to the Magnetic Fields and Belle & Sebastian. Ecce Homo also caught the ear of Rough Trade, whose signing of Gibb made the Hidden Cameras the first Canadian artist on the label in its 25-year history. Meanwhile, the group's elaborate live performances, which include up to 30 go-go dancers, strippers, and musicians, as well as videos, projected lyrics, and heavy audience participation, won the group a widespread and devoted following in Canada. 2003's Rough Trade debut, The Smell of Our Own, reflected some of the group's more elaborate sound more so than Ecce Homo did and spread the Hidden Cameras' subversively catchy music further afield. In 2004, the band released their long-awaited follow-up, Mississauga Goddam, named for the Toronto suburb of Gibb's youth. Awoo, which presented a slightly tamer version of the Cameras' "gay church folk music," arrived in 2006. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi

 

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