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Album Review

by Summer Camp


Review Date
28th February
Reviewed by
Courtney Sanders

When one calls a band Summer Camp and an EP Young, they are being fairly heart-on-sleeve reference-wise. And while musically this record certainly cements both titles, they don’t really do them justice. Bouncy and shiny sure, but also depressing and self-reflective, bred from a deceptive lyrical intricacy and musical eclecticism. Perhaps it's the English in them, regardless, teen dramas just got complicated.

A smooth, soothing Edwyn Collins voice dominates the opening track ‘Round the Moon’, underpinned by some seriously eighties synthesizer and a raucous, romantic duet in the chorus; the duo serenade each other with ‘we danced all night and we held each other tight till the morning light’. It’s positive man. But it also establishes the eclecticism of Young; various streams of musical sub-conscious that twist in and out between tracks as they please, but perfectly timed. Second track ‘Was it worth it’ marries The Cars and The Cocteau Twins by way of sixties beats and sentiments – a comparison to 2010 wunderkinds Twin Shadow wouldn’t go amiss here - and the sunshine of said decade filters through into the following track ‘Veronica Sawyer’ that, while underpinned by watery electronica, sees front woman Elizabeth Sankey channel some serious Santigold attitude that is as pretty as it is threatening. Fourth track ‘Why Don’t You Stay’ kind of bookends this introductory series of songs by sounding as similarly earnest as opening track while simultaneously being the haziest track on the album. The band then proceed to cement this base and do so eloquently – Sankey’s vocals float through some staccato percussion in ‘Ghost Train’ while ‘Montgomery Avenue 1984’ hammers the nostalgia the title and album moniker suggest, with lyrics discussing broken romance over spilt canteen milk among a bevvy of handclaps and references to modern technology.

Ironic simplicities litter the tracklisting, and imbue Young with a childhood innocence that is as refreshing as it is genuinely enjoyable to listen to. Kids laughter, the duos laughter at the end of a track, ba-da-da’s and references to wolves and vampires, it’s silly and frivolous but rather than detracting from the musicality of Summer Camp it offsets Young silkiness perfectly. These guys are making a point, sure, but no reason not to laugh along the way. And when Elizabeth Sankey repeats ‘I’ve got so much more than this’ one is inclined to believe her.


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