“I lost my job. I lost confidence. I lost my mind. I made this record.” This is how Jamie Cameron sometimes explains the existence of his third album as The Last Dinosaur, and it’s a testament to his tenacity that it exists at all. Though it’s a succinct 26 minutes long, Wholeness speaks to the heart with unrelenting intensity.
Wholeness tracks a complicated but redemptive path through recollections of a withdrawn childhood and an adulthood crippled by insecurity, tragedy and death. “The album,” Cameron confesses, “symbolises a personal journey, after years spent in a creative wilderness underlined by fear and doubt, to rediscover and reconnect with a pureness of creativity and creative autonomy.”
To complement the album’s release, we asked Jamie to share three of the records that have been his greatest influences. His respones proved as inspiring as Wholeness itself.
Rachel’s – Systems/Layers
Generally speaking I find most music termed contemporary classical to be too cleanly and clinically recorded and lacking in personality. Systems/Layers is contemporary classical by way of post-rock. Arrangements are uncovered from dirt and hiss. Appearing through the shuddering sounds of the subway.
An underappreciated achievement of significant proportions overseen by Jason Noble (of Rodan and Shipping News), a multifaceted talent who was tragically lost to cancer in 2012 at 40 years old, decades before his time.
Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People
I can’t state how important an album this was for me. Just listening now and it’s still as exciting as the first day I heard it. ‘Cause = Time’, ‘Shampoo Suicide’, ‘Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old-Girl’ – an album of highlights that shifts effortlessly in style from track to track (and sometimes all within the same piece).
It’s crazy to think that this was released coming up to 20 years ago. Like all the best albums it feels like it could have been released yesterday.
Talk Talk – Laughing Stock
I tried to resist including Talk Talk in this list but caved at the last minute. How could I not? They changed my perspective on sound and space, melody, harmony, dissonance, intention. I realised recently that Laughing Stock edges it as my favourite Talk Talk album. Probably my favourite album of all time, in fact.
Somehow it never fully reveals itself, in the best possible sense. I’m endlessly finding new things buried within it to obsess over, a new favourite song. At the moment it’s ‘After The Flood’.
This album is perfect and there’ll never be another like it.