Release Date: Oct 28, 2016
Record label: Outside Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Indie Folk, Chamber Pop
Formed in 2001, The Hidden Cameras – the brainchild of songwriter Joel Gibb and his revolving line-up of musicians – have spent the better part of a decade putting this seventh album together. To that extent, Home On Native Land is the culmination of Gibb’s musical career to date, a tribute both to his home country of Canada and these graceful, jangly songs that are known – for better or worse – as Canadiana. As with previous records, this album features an array of guest musicians, including Rufus Wainwright, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Feist, Ron Sexsmith and the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant, but these songs remain Gibbs’ from start to end, and reveal his incredible ability to explore different styles while always sounding like himself.
The aptly named Home on Native Land sees head Hidden Cameras operator Joel Gibb returning to his Canadian homeland after a long stint in Berlin, Germany. The sonic antithesis to 2014's relatively dark, electro-pop-heavy AGE, the 14-track set can be downright bucolic at times, with Gibb's signature amalgam of sordid imagery and heartfelt ruminations carried along on a foundation of country-, folk-, and pedal steel-driven Canadiana. It's also chock-full of guest appearances, with Mary Margaret O'Hara, Rufus Wainwright, Feist, Neil Tennant, Bahamas, and Ron Sexsmith all stopping by to lend a hand.
The Hidden Cameras' seventh album, Home on Native Land, is about returning; literally leaving Canada for Berlin and then returning, but also returning in a musical tradition sense. The album is the home singer/songwriter Joel Gibb has had earmarked for his more country and Canadiana songs for about a decade, but in the meantime, he was working on other albums (Awoo, 2006; Origin:Orphan, 2009; and Age, 2014). So it's been a long time coming, this gloriously subversive, playful, occasionally morbid "gay church folk" indie pop country harvest.But is it really country? Like, really? Well, in a lot of ways, sure, yes.
The Hidden Cameras mastermind Joel Gibb has been away from his Canadian homeland for some time. Based in Berlin for a number of years, Gibb has taken Hidden Cameras fans on an unexpected journey over the course of their last two albums, making unlikely forays into the likes of post-rock and murky electro-pop. But, as you might guess from the title of his band’s seventh full-length album, Gibb has made his way home.