The Last Dinosaur - The Nothing album review

Quietly bold lo-fi album from The Last Dinosaur ponders mortality

The Last Dinosaur - The Nothing album artwork

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London musician Jamie Cameron seems young to be making an album all about death. The loss of a close friend in a car crash 12 years ago, however – Cameron was also in the car – has haunted him since, and he felt the need for a cathartic set of compositions.

The Nothing isn’t morbid in any grandiose or showboating way, but rather whispers its hushed path through the emotional minefield that is coming to improved terms with grief. Like the music of Sparklehorse or Eels which it aims to emulate, it eventually finds a route to being gently uplifting. His previous album Hooray For Happiness! (from 2010) centred on a relationship break-up, so there may be shades of deadpan irony at play here. We’ll Greet Death is a lilting shuffle which eventually embraces a chanted refrain, while Grow is an alt-folk amble delivering its pathos with a light touch. The Sea stutters softly in with finger snaps before muted harmonics guide it to a place between post-rock and pretty balladry. Jamie Cameron is effectively a oneman band, and his admirable DIY ethos doesn’t always construct the scale he desires, although Rachel Lanskey’s viola textures really help to bring some colour to the sketchings.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.