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(Halloween!) Video of the Moment #618: Summer Camp

 
By on Monday, 31st October 2011 at 6:00 pm
 

Summer Camp‘s debut album ‘Welcome to Condale’ is released today; read Martin’s review here. And just in time for Halloween, here is the spooky and eerie video for ‘Down’, their new single out next Monday (7 November) on Apricot/Moshi Moshi.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX7elQ6s2Vk[/youtube]

 

Album Review: Summer Camp – Welcome to Condale

 
By on Friday, 28th October 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Not so long ago, Summer Camp were so camera-shy, their most telling communication with the world came through their still-active blog of cryptically-titled anonymous family snapshots; an interesting diversion, but hardly audience-friendly. At that early stage the band wouldn’t reveal their names even when given a glowing write-up in a coveted New Band of the Day spot on Paul Lester’s Guardian blog.

Fast-forward from early 2010 to late 2011, they shrouds of anonymity have been cast away, and we can non-exclusively reveal the London-based duo comprise obscurantist Jeremy Warmsley and übercool bloggist Elizabeth Sankey. On the eve of the release of their debut long-player, the stars appear to have aligned favourably for them; the 1980s mode is back. Topman sports garish jumpers just like your dad wore at Christmas 1986, everyone’s iPhone camera is set to generate split-toned, wild-hued snaps; all we need is a soundtrack to this latest echo of the past.

Step forward Summer Camp. Fire up the drum machine, stick some chorus on the layered vocals, and pout into the mirror. Which pretty much sets the tone for this 12-track homage to the original decade of excess. ‘Better Off Without You’ kicks things off; arguably their best-known song, having a powerful melody and singable lyrics – just don’t let your better half catch you muttering the title refrain under your breath…awkward questions are bound to ensue.

Warmsley takes lead vocals for the most disco-catchy piece here, ‘Brian Krakow’: 3 minutes of pounding drums, fuzzy guitar and a handclap break perfect for neon dancefloor posturing. Things get even dirtier with ‘I Want You’; one of the sexiest come-ons ever put down on tape, Sankey is back, and in full-on seduction mode, synths rhythmically pulsing everywhere, tinny 303 hi-hats and thudding, filtered toms adorning sentiments like, “I’d make you love me so much / you’d have to ask permission to breathe,” …Phew.

After such a powerful statement of intent, the album careens between exposition of extant lust, via moment-after comedown, to sentimental reflections on past times. Losing My Mind intertwines both performers’ vocals to great call-and-return effect; a sound poem of a relationship in the process of demolition – coming to the soundtrack of a rom-com near you. There is, unusually, a song named after the band, which deserves a review all to itself. ‘Nobody Knows You’, with its dark, downtempo, distorted vocal and crashing drums, carries the exact same sentiment of the eponymous Bessie Smith blues standard, but updated with fresh music, lyrics and arrangement. A new song, with an old song at its heart, if you will.

Clearly these guys would have loved to grow up in suburban L.A., preferably living on the set of one of the seminal American high school movies. Molly Ringwald even appears in a sample on one song, and there are similar snippets at the beginning of several others. In the absence of time travel, the next best thing is to soundtrack the contemporary second coming of a similar populist sentiment, a role they are perfectly suited to.

Moments here work as a companion piece to the Moroder-inspired soundtrack of Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn’s recent noirish neon-lit poem to the vicious underbelly of LA. There’s something in the assertive yet vulnerable female vocals and the upfront synth work that invokes ’80s Los Angeles as seen through the lens of countless stylish, violent thrillers. Scratch the shiny surface and all is jet black. That this set could just as easily be interpreted as an ’80s keg party soundtrack by a casually distracted audience shows its versatility. Pastiche this is not; there is substance beneath the style. Quite the album of the moment, then. Let’s hope it has more longevity than red braces and shoulder pads.

8/10

‘Welcome to Condale’, the debut album from Summer Camp, is out 31 October on the fruity-named Apricot Recording Company / Moshi Moshi.

 

Video(s) of the Moment #602: Summer Camp

 
By on Sunday, 16th October 2011 at 10:00 am
 

Mysterious duo Summer Camp will be releasing their highly anticipated debut album ‘Welcome to Condale’ on Moshi Moshi on Halloween (the 31st of October). Below is the video for the first single from the new album. It’s called ‘Better Off Without You’ and the video looks like it’s undergone one of those sepia-toned lenses that makes new things look old. (You’ll see what I mean.) Also below is a brief interview the pair did with O2 Academy Backstage.

Summer Camp is touring England in November in support of the new album – all the details are here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgrP6fzGKjg[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NT5tup2wMYI[/youtube]

 

Summer Camp / November 2011 English Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 30th August 2011 at 5:30 pm
 

Summer Camp will be touring England in November. Tickets are on sale now.

The band’s debut album ‘Welcome to Condale’ has an expected November release.

Wednesday 9th November 2011 – Lancaster Library
Thursday 10th November 2011 – Liverpool Mojo (Live Music Week)
Friday 11th November 2011 – Newcastle Dog and Parrot
Saturday 12th November 2011 – Leeds Constellations
Monday 14th November 2011 – Southampton Joiners
Tuesday 15th November 2011 – Oxford Jericho
Thursday 17th November 2011 – London Efes
Friday 18th November 2011 – Canterbury Farmhouse
Saturday 19th November 2011 – Brighton Green Door Store

 

NME Awards Shows / February 2011

 
By on Tuesday, 23rd November 2010 at 9:30 am
 

This year, the NME Awards will take place 23 February 2011 at 02 Academy Brixton. In the lead up to the awards show, NME puts on live performances in London’s best gigging venues during the month of February. And yesterday, the music magazine announced the line-ups for the February 2011 shows. Tickets for these shows go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday, 24 November, at 9 AM.

Tuesday 1st February 2011 – Metronomy at London Heaven
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 – Los Campesinos! and Summer Camp at London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Thursday 3rd February 2011 – The Duke Spirit at London Heaven
Wednesday 9th February 2011 – Mystery Jets (pictured above) at London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Friday 11th February 2011 – White Lies and Crocodiles at London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Tuesday 15th February 2011 – The Naked and Famous at London Heaven
Tuesday 15th February 2011 – Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan and Cherry Ghost at London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Wednesday 16th February 2011 – Edwyn Collins at London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Thursday 17th February 2011 – Miles Kane at London Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
Thursday 17th February 2011 – Noah and the Whale at London Koko
Friday 18th February 2011 – Yuck and Cults at London Bush Hall
Sunday 20th February 2011 – Carl Barat, the Heartbreaks and Foreign Office at London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Monday 21st February 2011 – Alex Winston at London New Players Theatre
Monday 21st February 2011 – Mona and Neon Trees at London Garage
Monday 21st February 2011 – Warpaint and Twin Shadow at London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Monday 21st February 2011 – Frankie and the Heartstrings and Veronica Falls at London Heaven
Tuesday 22nd February 2011 – Caribou, Factory Floor and Walls at London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Tuesday 22nd February 2011 – Les Savy Fav at London Heaven

 

Frankie & The Heartstrings + Summer Camp / October 2010 Tour

 
By on Friday, 18th June 2010 at 8:30 am
 

Frankie and the Heartstrings have announced a joint headlining tour with the fantastic Summer Camp.

Tickets go on sale today (June 18th 2010) at 9am. Catch the two bands at:

Thursday 30th September 2010 – Brighton Jam
Friday 1st October 2010 – London Lexington
Saturday 2nd October 2010 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Monday 4th October 2010 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Tuesday 5th October 2010 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Wednesday 6th October 2010 – Glasgow Stereo
Saturday 9th October 2010 – Newcastle Cluny
Sunday 10th October 2010 – Nottingham Stealth

 
 
 

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