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.