Summer Camp are Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey—the “head and heart” of the band respectively, as they describe themselves—and Summer Camp is the follow up to their debut Welcome To Condale, whose twelve tracks gave autumn 2011 a welcome shot of sunshine. The gorgeous collection of lushly melodic pop songs wove around a central narrative of an imaginary suburb deep in the heart of America, a cinematic microverse of teenage lovers and loners, high school freaks and geeks.
Never ones to rest on their laurels, Elizabeth and Jeremy followed their debut with the Always EP in July 2012, five new songs that saw the duo equally adept at melodious dancefloor fillers as guitar pop. Written on piano, the tracks, including singles “Life” and “Always”, took on a life of their own in the studio, resulting in a set described as “LCD Soundsystem versus Donna Summer” by NME, and “delirious disco-informed synthpop,” by Stereogum, who proclaimed it “the best thing they’ve ever done.”
Bar a run of festival shows, the rest of 2012 was spent writing the bulk of the songs that would become Summer Camp. In contrast to the conceptual lyrics of their debut, this time around the pair began writing from a more personal place: “With this album, we pushed ourselves to be more open, to portray our own emotions honestly rather than using fictional characters. The process was difficult, tantrums were had, but ultimately we’re glad to have songs that more closely represent us, our friends, and being alive in this decade.”
With their finest set of songs yet in the bag, they headed into the studio with legendary producer Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur). The result is an eleven-track marvel, cherry-picking the best bits of Welcome To Condale and Always, and latticing them into a cohesive whole that is very much the sound of Summer Camp in 2013, a confident, fully-realized body of work that befits the cliche “all killer, no filler.”