The Smell of Our Own

Ever wonder what would happen if Belle & Sebastian united forces with nonprofit musical group Up With People, with Phil Spector as producer? No? Well, Toronto's Joel Gibb, who records as the Hidde

Ever wonder what would happen if Belle & Sebastian united forces with nonprofit musical group Up With People, with Phil Spector as producer? No? Well, Toronto's Joel Gibb, who records as the Hidden Cameras, apparently has. The first Canadian act signed by Rough Trade in the label's 25-year history, the Hidden Cameras intertwine folk aesthetics and oh-so-buoyant pop mannerisms to create bursting-at-the-seams melodies that would not sound out of place in a cathedral. In fact, midway through the festive The Smell of Our Own, you half expect Sally Field (reprising her flying nun role) to guest on the microphone. That halfway point, "Smells Like Happiness," is home to these opening lines: "Happy we are when we choose to wear the blindfold/And mark our own day with a parade and a song." Equally snappy and positively spirited are "Ban Marriage," "The Animals of Prey," and "Breathe on It." This is the stuff memorable summer days are made of. Shiny, happy people, for sure.—MP