Summer Camp – Welcome to Condale

written by: November 15, 2011
Summer Camp welcome to condale Release Date: October 31, 2011


Every child dreams of running off to camp every summer to spend days playing games, eating s’mores and meeting a fellow teeny bopper to call a summer fling—or at least that’s what happened on Disney’s “Bug Juice.”

The days of campfires and wake-boarding are a delightful memory, but on Summer Camp’s first LP, Welcome to Condale, the duo reminisces in a nontraditional fashion.

London’s Summer Camp has captured the hazy essence of those far-away summer nights with their dreamy vocals and foggy melodies. Welcome to Condale is bright on the outside but hauntingly dark on the inside. With lyrics spanning from literally loving someone to death to life in a small town, Summer Camp isn’t afraid to tell it how it is.

Starting as a secretive project, Jeremy Warmsley and Elizibeth Sankey were new to Summer Camp but not the music scene. Warmsley has been active in the British music arena since 2005 with a slew of albums, singles and EPs released solely and collaboratively, and he has toured with the likes of Regina Spektor and The Shins.

Sankey is new to this side of music, although it’s hard to tell with her impressive pipes. As a music writer for Loudon’s Platform online magazine, Sankey initially craved anonymity because of her contacts in the industry, as well as Warmsley’s recognition. It obviously didn’t matter because this duo received attention before their names were revealed.

Initially released in 2009, Welcome to Condale features the catchy “Ghost Train,” also from their Young EP.  This song captures true youthful naivety. The keyboard is a daydream of high-pitched chords and delightfully airy melodies. The vocals float in a dainty toe-tapping circle.

However, not every song on this album is pretty. “I Want You” is a creepy love story that is distorted and sexy. Resembling a 1990s Madonna song, Sankey is devilish and tantalizing.

“And if I could I’d squeeze your hand so tight, every knuckle would crack. I’d wrap my arms around you and snap every bone in your back. … If I could I’d kiss your lips so hard, your entire face would bruise. Write your name in blood on every wall, it would make the evening news. I’d chain our feet together so that you could never leave. I’d make you love me so much you’d have to ask permission to breathe.”

Warmsley’s lo-fi keys and atmospheric melodies add an eerie innocence to Sankey’s dreamy vocals. The poppy, retro-infused style overflows into their album artwork with cloudy Polaroid-like photos to create a full package theme.

Welcome to Condale takes influences from 1960s surfer rock to 1980s glitter pop. It’s a formula that’s undeniably captivating. The clever storytelling and sing-along lyrics make this album easily enjoyable. Ranging from bubble-gum beats to a psychotic love obsession, Summer Camp has spanned the eras defying pop genres to blend into their own concoction. Just try to resist humming these tunes for days.

Summer Camp – Welcome to Condale tracklist:

  1. “Better off Without You”
  2. “Brian Krakow”
  3. “I Want You”
  4. “Losing My Mind”
  5. “Summer Camp”
  6. “Nobody Knows You”
  7. “Down”
  8. “Welcome to Condale”
  9. “Done Forever”
  10. “Last American Virgin”
  11. “Ghost Train”
  12. “1988”