Summer Camp

Antonio Rowe 22/07/2010

Sadly, here at GIITV we don't always get things right, one of those mistakes may have been not including London based girl/boy duo Summer Camp in our 'GIITV Tips for 2010' feature. For those of you who don't know who Summer Camp are, they're a duo made up of singer/songwriter Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley (yeah that's him), when combined expect; a sea of dreamy lo-fi pop, sugar-sweet simplistic melodies, shared boy + girl vocals, lushious reverbs and looped delay. Thankfully, we soon cottoned on to their indie charms, and after coming a close second to Wap Wap Wow in 'GIITV's Introducing The Band' feature staff vote, GIITV's Antonio Rowe sent Summer Camp some questions ranging from; their fascination for 80's Brat Pack films, their relationship to how they met. Find all the questions and answers below:

How did you two become acquainted?
We've known each other for years, but had never worked together musically. We first met at one of Jeremy's solo shows, although Elizabeth wasn't actually there to see him. *Awkward*.

When did Summer Camp first start making music?

Elizabeth made Jeremy a CD with a Flamingos song on it, 'I Only Have Eyes For You', and when we were bored one weekend we decided to cover it. We made a myspace purely so we'd have something to return to in ten years time and cringe about. Then the excellent Sahil Varma from Transparent found it and blogged about us. We haven't really stopped since then.

My knowledge may not be accurate but my sources tell me you're still unsigned. Is that the case or are you close to signing up with a label?
We're putting out an EP and single with Moshi Moshi in September, who are a label we're crazy about. We'd sing their praises for years. They also did our first single 'Ghost Train'. We've met a lot of lovely people in the music biznizz, but we haven't signed a deal for an album yet.

There seems to be quite a lot of speculation and bemusement with regards to where both of you come from; with Chicago, Sweden and U.K all being possibilities. So where are you from?
We're both from South West London, Kingston area. Although we didn't know each other as kids, thank GOD.

There doesn't seem to be much information about yourselves on the web nor in magazines, are you both the shy and retiring type or do you just prefer mystery?
There is stuff out there, but our name is very un-google-able. We quite like that because it's a challenge, and everyone loves a challenge. It also makes it harder to find any bad comments people have said about us...which are non-existent by the way, but you know, just in case...

Your music has being described as 'dreamy lo-fi indie pop', would you agree?
Really tempted to just say 'yes'. Probably no band is ever happy with a one line description of 'their sound' (using that phrase makes us feel like Ross in 'Friends'), but bands are just arrogant fools, and we've heard much worse. The only one that really grinds our gears is 'twee', we don't really know why, we just don't like it. (See - arrogant).

Why did you decide to start making the genre of music you create?
We didn't really decide anything! It was just what came out when we did the Flamingos cover, and we liked the 'vibe' so we stuck with it. It's nice because the more songs we write the more we evolve, but the production style of the songs tends to stay within this joyous, hazy world. It's a unifying element for us.

What type of music are you both listening to at the moment?
Elizabeth - I'm listening to 90's acid house as usual, and we're both pretty into this Fleetwood Mac album, 'Mirage'. I'm also listening to the audiobook of a novel that is so embarrassing I can't actually type its title.

Your 'Young' EP and 7” single 'Round The Moon are both set to be released this September on Moshi Moshi, can you tell our readers and anyone who isn't yet aware of you what to expect?
A highly charged concept mini-album featuring the painful and honest experiences of the most twee band you'll ever hear. Oh, and it's an audiobook.

You seem to possess a fondness for 80's Brat Pack films, with quotes from films like '16 Candles' and 'Heathers used in your songs, is there any particular reason for this?
Yeah we love using samples like this. Mainly because it offsets the listener and puts you into another world. We're really into the idea of writing songs for a time or place that never existed except in our minds or in movies or in photos. That sounds really pretentious but we promise it's not.

You also have a BlogSpot full of vintage Polaroids each depicting various suburban scenes. Although the concept of 'American High-School Sweethearts' seems to be a reoccurring theme in most of the pictures, would you say to some extent that idea inspires your music? The lyrics in your songs do seem to be very much centred around the idea of teenage romances.
On the EP definitely. The songs on there are very much of a time when we were mainly influenced by John Hughes and teenagers and summer. There's something about those three elements that will probably always be a big part of what we do, but we've moved on from there now in our writing. Hence why we called the EP 'Young'. It's nice to put those songs out together because to us they were all of a certain period in our songwriting.

You are slowly becoming less anonymous with more and more web and print music publications like ourselves becoming aware of your existence. How do you feel about the idea of your profile rising?
We don't really notice our profile rising, because outside this world of blogs and bands most people still have no idea who we are. It's great that some people are finding the songs and liking them, or even not liking them! It's always been about the small blogs though, it's where we started, and it's the growth of them is brilliant. They're so unaffected and just music lovers writing about music - they're the people we want to write good songs for.

Your playing a few festivals this summer, which one are you most looking forward to playing?
Elizabeth - I'm really excited about them all, but Green Man will be especially good because I'm half Welsh, and my sister's going, so I'm going to try and get her on stage and embarrass the hell out of her. Jeremy - Truck's always really good. Long live Truck.

Now there is also some speculation as to whether or not you're not only a music duo but a romantic couple as well. So are you more than just friends?
Eww gross.

Finally it may seem a tad premature but have you begun to work on a full-length album?

We're writing constantly, and in our heads we're writing for the first album, it just depends if we can find someone to help us release it!

Thanks so much for these questions
SC xxx

Summer Camp's next Gig:

Jul 24 - Secret Garden Party, Cambridge

Catch Summer Camp when they're supporting Frankie and The Heartstrings, this autumn.

Summer Camp - Ghost Train (viral) from Paddy Power on Vimeo.

Summer Camp's Blogspot:

Summer Camp's Myspace: