Summer Camp are available @ Apple Music.
by Walter Price
2013 will most likely go down as a very good year for revivalist rock n’ roll and the newer interpreters of pop sounds.
In this case, the later brings us to the dynamite self-titled album from The UK’s Summer Camp. At first, listen you may want to simply write it off as another lo-fi electronic throwback synths collection but then you’d find yourself looking a bit silly at the next nerds are ultra hep party.
Married duo Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley’s last full-length effort Welcome To Condale left me feeling like I was having to work too hard to figure out all the insider shenanigans. But that’s okay really. It was their album. Literally, man, take it for a spin. That thing is wall to wall pop-culture and insider references that would make Cliff Clavin’s head spin.
This time around they brought Stephen Street (The Smiths/Blur) in and there seems to be a bit more cohesiveness and forthrightness on this set. Please understand, Sankey and Warmsley are still up to their somewhat enigmatic tendencies here. It’s just a clearer set of musical vignettes. I can dig it and so will you.
It must be said that Sankey has one of the more interesting and right-on voices in indie pop today. This paired with Warmsley’s growing repertoire of sounds make this an album you should check out… Also, understand that I am not saying there aren’t a flaw or three here and there on this album. I am saying that this is a fitting example of what pop can and should be.
Turn off your radio and buy an album.
Bravo to these two for their interpretation of the pop sound. Somewhat familiar at first but if you take the time you’ll find the cool complexities in the simplicity of this album. I truly feel that this is a duo that will mix things up at every turn, release and show until they never find a consistent sound and I think that is rad to the bone and perfectly charismatic.
Let us start at the beginning. Who is Summer Camp and how did this all get started?
Summer Camp is Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey. We were friends, then we started dating and one day we thought it would be fun to make some music together!
Who is responsible for all the interest in past/present pop-culture?
We both love pop culture but its presence in our music is definitely more down to Elizabeth.
It is evident that nothing is just ‘thrown together’ with Summer Camp. Outside of the music itself, how many more aspects or mediums need to be figured out before you release music?
Like most bands, we have to think about artwork, the live presentation, videos, etc. We are very hands-on and take care of a lot of stuff ourselves but when it comes to videos we’ve been very lucky to work with some extremely talented directors.
Many cheers for the new album. What an extraordinary collection of songs. What were the lessons learned that you wanted to the new, self-titled, album?
Thanks so much! We wanted to make a record that was more personal, that showed more of who we are rather than being about characters in a fictional place.
What are the dynamics between you two in the songwriting & recording processes?
It’s different every time but we generally both contribute a lot. Sometimes one of us comes in with a nearly-finished idea – more often, we work and work together till we find something we both like.
How important is the mystery in what Summer Camp is doing?
At first, it was a little important, but not so much now – we run our own Facebook and Twitter and love to chat to people who like our music.
You seem to be having a blast, how much fun is the road aspect of your careers?
It’s amazing! We have a great band and crew who are so much fun to tour with!
What/where is the worst place you’ve been lucky enough to perform?
Nowhere really springs to mind – although before we did the band, Jeremy did once fly 1000km to play to 5 people…
What is the one thing that the world should know about Summer Camp?
We’re working on the soundtrack to an amazing new film called Beyond Clueless, check it out!
Captain & Tennille or Arcade Fire?
Both at the same time!
[6 December 2013]