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Summer Camp – Summer Camp

Summer Camp – 'Summer Camp' album review

The duo's glossy indie-pop shines even brighter second time around

By Nick Levine
It’s almost but not quite trite to say that one reason why Summer Camp make great indie-pop is because they make great pop. This second album by London duo Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley is glossier than a show dog’s hair, and even when they allow a track to stretch out over six minutes – as they do twice here, on ‘The End’ and ‘Two Chords’ – their songwriting stays focused and supremely melodic.

Sankey has a very English pop voice, sometimes sounding like Sophie Ellis-Bextor without the hint of haughtiness, and now they’ve dialled down the California high school vibes of their 2011 debut album ‘Welcome To Condale’, Summer Camp’s swooning pop tunes feel pretty English too. ‘Do you still sleep on the same side of the bed?’ Sankey sings on ‘Phone Call’, wondering about an ex in a way that’s both moving and slightly mundane.

Over a 45-minute album, this sort of thing could teeter into tweeness, but thankfully Summer Camp lace their sugary iced tea with a dash of lemon. ‘Fighters’ is a crisp snapshot of a violent relationship; ‘I Got You’ and ‘Everything Has Changed’ experiment with tougher, R&B-style beats; and closing number ‘Pink Summer’ ends the album with what feels like a very un-Summer Camp-like sentiment: ‘It’s not how much you love, it’s how much you are loved.’

All of which goes to show that another reason why Summer Camp make great indie-pop is because they manage to avoid the genre’s Achilles heel: being a bit predictable. Buy this album here

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