Published May 09, 2015Toronto-founded and Nashville-based threesome the Cameron Brothers have undergone intensive country boot camp since moving to Tennessee in February of 2014. Their latest album, Heavy Romancer, is the group's debut under their new moniker, Harvey Cameron, and the first to be released since their move to the Music City.
Heavy Romancer is a thorough encapsulation of the group's style in a brief six-song EP. In tune with singer-songwriters like Nelson, Parton and, to a lesser extent, Williams Sr., the group's songs are on the tender side of barroom blues and focus on relationships in rustic environments. It's a motivation that is kept fresh by alternating lead vocals and differing narrative perspectives; each member takes a crack at fronting the band and each member holds it down nicely.
On "Letting You Go," Emma Harvey and Braden Cameron exchange sorrowful admissions of guilt for a faltering romance. The lead switches from Cameron's drawn-out drawl to Harvey's gentle cadence; a harmonious Cash-and-Carter-esque juxtaposition that is melodically mirrored by Braden's sweeping Dobro and Aaron Comeau's understated mandolin, portraying two people moving in opposite directions. Here, as on other parts of the album, organic instrumentation (notably the harmonica on "I've Been Thinking Lately" and organ "If Loving Me") gives the typically country sound a bluer tinge, adding an extra level of emotion to a genre that has a habit of being overproduced.
The group venture into honky-tonk territory on "I've Been Thinking Lately" and offer a bouncy pop effort on "Shine A Light." However, the group's bitter-sweetness shines brightest on the beer-soaked lament "One More," on which Scott Cameron comically reveals that "I've shared a joint with some good friends / I've been the cock to a few good hens." Despite the light humor, there is an underlying desperation that characterizes this song about a lonely man asking for just one more night of affection.
Harvey Cameron stitch country with blues so seamlessly that it would be difficult to assign their songs to a single category. Walking the divide of various roots genres is where Harvey Cameron thrive, and if Heavy Romancer is an indication of things to come, both sides of the 49th parallel will be seeing a lot more of Harvey Cameron in the future. (Independent)