Review: Summer Camp – Christmas EP

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80%
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Wonderful

Full of festivity, originality and Christmas classics, Summer Camp have created an EP worthy of the Christmas playlists.

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Simply because, according to Jeremy Warmsley, they love Christmas, and they love Christmas music, Summer Camp have brought forth a glittering five-track Christmas EP that will leave even the most Scrooge of us willing to dive headlong into a tangle of tinsel.

It features covers of some favourites, as well as some new, original Christmas songs from the indie-pop duo, who released their third studio album Bad Love, earlier this year.

‘I Don’t Wanna Wait ‘Til Christmas’ is the soppiest of the bunch. Set against the jaunty, Christmassy bells and Warmsley’s nostalgic, classically Christmas voice, is a story of love, romance, and not wanting to wait until Christmas to see that special someone. That said, it could be applied outside of romance: there are people that many of us will only ever see at Christmas, because that’s what you do. Maybe Summer Camp are telling us that we just shouldn’t wait. ‘Here Again’ opens with somewhat moody ringings of bells and a lower key, it opens with Sankey’s sugary vocals this time. It nods to Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’, and undoes the happy spell of Christmas with the line “this ain’t no fairytale.” Perhaps not the cheeriest of beginnings, with a focus on the repetitiveness of Christmas, the track eventually concludes in pure Summer Camp dreaminess that they’re glad it’s the same every year.

Easing us in with a gentle guitar before racing drums and bells, ‘Done With Christmas’ has its roots in the jaunty Christmassy songs of Slade, but taken down a notch. Like a chilled out Slade. The track is about missing people around Christmas, which is probably something a lot of us are guilty for and Summer Camp bring home through repeating “Christmas always made me think of you.” The definitive “this year I’m done with missing you” is decisive and strong, before we enter into the cover tracks of the album.

“Bah Humbug; now that’s too strong! ‘Cause it is my favourite holiday,” sings Sankey as the band bring us their rendition of The Waitresses’ ‘Christmas Wrapping’. What Summer Camp do beautifully with this track is to transform it into something that wouldn’t be out of place on one of their albums. It encapsulates their dreamy pop tone whilst being recognisable as a classic, but the band seem to breathe more life into it. The Christmas EP ends with ‘Last Christmas’, which evolves from gentle humming and melodies. It’s difficult for any cover of this track to stray too far from the original, but female vocals seem to give it more resonance and take it in a different direction. The track is stripped down but intricately layered, giving us all we would want from a cover of the classic Christmas track.

Summer Camp’s Christmas EP puts everything we could ask for from Christmas: originality, bells, and twinkling rhythms, into a box, neatly ribboned and presented to us. Take a break from the classic Christmas compilation albums that you listen to every year, break tradition, and inject some Summer Camp into your Christmas.

Christmas is out now via Moshi Moshi Records.

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Third year English student, Records Editor, list maker and lover of Kinder Buenos.

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