‘Christmas can be a time of high drama; the old family argument that always seems to come up, or it can be a time when you realise all the great stuff in your life.We’ve made an EP with some new songs celebrating all those things’
Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey of London duo Summer Camp. Whether you dread Christmas or start to live and breathe it come September, ‘Christmas’ is not an EP to leave out of your holiday playlist. The married pair has included fresh material alongside twee indie retakes of festive classics.
Part girl band and part synthpop, 80s influence permeates the EP, creating nostalgic sound as if heard through a Polaroid filter. In contrast with previous album ‘Bad Love’, which was defined by raspy synths and distorted guitar chugs, ‘Christmas’ is somewhat its tame cousin. Recognisable holiday spirit is found through their use of tambourines and twinkly xylophones. ‘Here Again’ opens with rubbery bass and bells, which is reminiscent of the annual inevitability of ‘Jingle Bells’. As Elizabeth Sankey chimes ‘Same thing every year, we’re here again’ in her childish yet ethereal vocals, memories of excited anticipation for Christmas (with added weariness) are evoked. The compilation of 20th century home videos in ‘I Don’t Want To Wait For Christmas’ further reminds you of the incredible warmth of being surrounded by family despite the imminent drama and chaos. Although Jeremy Warmsley sings lead vocals only in the first track, his voice brings to mind Alex Ebert, which adds an undeniable Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros feel to the overall EP.
Whereas The Waitresses’ ‘Christmas Wrapping’ carries much sass and attitude, Summer Camp’s mellow interpretation has a different pace that is largely set by the bass drum. The result: less like girl band, more like a sincere conversation that happens to be sung. Relaxed instrumentals and carefree vocals blend effortlessly to produce music that is not only festive, but also therapeutic. Have a listen if you are in need of a change from the endless blasting of holiday clichés. Better yet, catch Summer Camp live at the Hackney Picturehouse on 19th December, followed by a screening of class Christmas comedy Elf. Quick! Get your tickets here.
Summer Camp’s EP Christmas, released 1st December 2015 (Moshi Moshi Records) is available to buy here