In 2011 a really talented London based duo, who describe themselves as head and heart came up with an incredible debut consisting of fun pop songs with heavy synthesizers and thriving orchestration, often compared with John Hughes soundtracks and 80s pop. By now you can probably imagine who I am talking about: Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey, forming SUMMER CAMP. Two years after their modern debut Welcome to Condale they are going to release their second self-titled long player on 9 September via Moshi Moshi. According to the band the album is different, because the lyrics aren’t fictional; the duo wants to be open and to portray emotions honestly. They want to represent themselves and their friends with it. Jeremy said “This album is a statement of intent: this is us, take it or leave it…” So even more reason to be curious about the new record.
Inconsistently the record starts with The End . It is a great opener because it is a song that is interesting as it lyrically and musically starts quite bleak and melancholic with a lot of electronic tunes and surprisingly ends up really enthusiastic and encouraging. In almost every of the 11 tracks the duo makes use of an intelligent mix of female and male vocals, with the male ones mainly in the background. Only in the guitar pop song Night Drive and in the catchy song I Got you with the lyrics “Yea I got you, you know I do, yea I got you you said I do” Jeremy’s voice comes noticeable into the foreground.
The album is full of guitar indie pop songs and full of easy and dreamy guitar tunes. Fresh is definitely an outstanding track of the album, as the title says it is a really fresh disco song about the first time. Also Fighters is outstanding as it is a really slow and touching piano driven song where Elizabeth shows how powerful her clear voice is. Keep Falling is possibly the one song that could get the summer hit of the record, which is an easy pop song with whistling birds in the background. The beginning of the cheerful song Everything has changed reminds a bit of Kate Nash whilst Pink Summer , the last song, is a real earworm with the chorus “it’s not about how much you love, it’s how much you are loved”.
All in all Summer Camp is a great record and shows that the band has developed a little since their debut. On the one hand there are the fun and easy songs and on the other the once that are interesting, unpredictable and some even artistic masterpieces. At the beginning it seemed a bit uncommon to self-title the second LP, but unlike the debut it should be a step to show who SUMMER CAMP really are, and according to that it was the best idea ever. It’s good to have a cheerful summer record at the end of summer, may it let the summer become endless and take the duos statement of intend like Elizabeth said “Please take it”.