Cover Story: On The Underground: Summer Camp

When I learned about this band, I thoroughly thought that they were American. As it turns out, the duo that is Summer Camp is from Europe. In researching this band, I learned that they were British, and concurrently learned the names of this married couple, Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey—as if those aren’t the most British names you’ve ever heard.

The band’s Wikipedia page describes their style as 21st-century alternative pop, and while I somewhat agree, I would categorize their style in a different way. The way I see it, Summer Camp’s music is what Grease would sound like if it were filmed and set in the ’90s, instead of the ’70s. The lead singer has a very new school, dark-lipsticked Sandra Dee vibe, as does their music. Many songs of theirs remind me of the classic “Hopelessly Devoted,” with an electronic beat swaying in the background (instead of the trees at Frenchy’s house). Their videos, in turn, are very reminiscent of the ’90s—the clothes, the fuzzy video quality, the trademark swooping cursive multicolored letters, like on those paper cups. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

One of the songs that points most to my point is “Fresh,” which is such a Sandra Dee song. The lyrics go as such: “First love is the best love / first love is the dream / first love is a fairytale / held tight between you & me / do you remember the first time?” Their music videos often center around this, as well; often times, the plot of the music video falls within the outlines of romantic comedy, questioning of self, lost love, et cetera. Sound familiar?

In addition, since the duo that makes up Summer Camp is a married couple, the chemistry that they create through their music is very raw and truthful, and the way that they appear and work together on-screen and on-ear is very gel.

See here:

Summer Camp, is, ultimately and excessively, unique. They are, somehow, vintage and new at the same time. Even their older videos have this amazing quality, like the one above, which is my personal favorite. You can hear their British accents (I’m not sure if it’s the only one you can hear it in, but it’s the first one I was able to find), they keep that same Lover’s Quarrel Duet trait that is so classic of old love movies and of old love stories, and the video is all matching sweaters, tacky school picture backgrounds, a nervous cat, and fuzzy video quality (pun intended). See here:

I, actually, don’t like this band that much. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but in comparison to all of the other bands that I love, they don’t rank especially highly. This may be contributed to based on the fact that they don’t have a large selection of songs, they don’t have a lot of songs on YouTube, and they don’t do a lot of events or performances. As I referenced in a previous post within this mini-series, when it comes to this band, in particular, I suffer from what I would like to call GIVE ME MORE-itis.

To sum up, Summer Camp, you are good. You are sweet. You are the mandarin in the Christmas stocking. But you’re not the toy car.

What have you done for me lately?