directed by Zambooie Teams
What stands out most are Beth Cameron's agile vocals. Much like the great Polly Harvey — and understand I'm not trying to make a direct comparison here — Cameron's got character and dynamics to spare. Whether she's at a whisper or a caterwaul, she'll suck you in like a tractor beam.
Forget Cassettes is clearly not the same band it was almost a decade ago. The new record O Cursa (Theory 8 Records), with its heavy drum samples, synthesizers, and use of manipulation, marks a new sonic direction for the band, better known for its driving guitar in Instruments of Action and Salt. For Beth Cameron, Forget Cassettes’ sole proprietor, O Cursa is a metamorphosis; a chance to emerge after a hiatus with a new focus. The album features a vibrant palette of electronic sounds which lends greater physicality to this album’s themes of heartache and loss in its many forms and fashions. Whether exploring sexuality and its feral foibles, apocalyptica, chronic illness, the search for one’s own mental and physical truths, Cameron continues to explore the relationship between inner and outer worlds. In yet another departure from previous records, O Cursa is, in a sense, a conceptual record, with the songs grouped categorically from the dense, chaotic aural forest of “Catecholamines,” to the hopefully peaceful minimalism of “All of Creation.” In a break from the traditional releasing of the album as a simple CD/download/vinyl, O Cursa is being released as a monthly series of 3 digital EPs (O Cursa I-III) beginning in October 2012, then compiled into a vinyl record (with additional songs) in January 2013.
Formed in 2002 in Nashville, Forget Cassettes began as a solo project for Beth Cameron after the dissolution of her former band Fair Verona. She was soon joined by Doni Schroader on drums and Rhodes piano for Instruments of Action, who left in 2005 to drum for ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. Beth recruited Jay Leo Phillips (Apollo Up!) on bass and Rhodes and Aaron Ford on drums for Salt in 2006. Doni and Beth reunited in 2007, and the pair began work on what would become O Cursa in 2008. A serious scooter accident in Austin, TX while working with producer Mike McCarthy derailed recording for the duo in the summer of 2008. Moving to Chicago in late 2008, Beth and Doni continued work on the album in their studio. After Doni’s final departure in early 2012, producers Mike McCarthy and Jeremy Ferguson facilitated finishing the album, as an interesting full circle path back to the beginning of the band a decade prior. Beth has since assembled an adroit team of Nashville musicians to help her perform the album live: Keith Parish on synth and piano (Roy Ira), Jessie Friedman on synth and background vocals (Blue Heart Hour, Team Illuminati), and Guy Lemon on drums (Uncle Skeleton and Nahnee Bori).
In much the same way that the songs of O Cursa plot a mental and musical course from thick anxiety about existence to serenity and acceptance about events in one’s life, Beth is using this album not as a projection of worries of the future, but as a dictum of loving what one has in the now and tolerance of the unknown. Part of life, and the art that reflects it, is this recognition.