I first came across Camp Cope last year when I stumbled across their self-titled album, and ever since then the album has silently stuck with me. The Lo-Fi production of it all was endearing enough, but the topic of the songs and the emotions that were being conveyed throughout each track were something else. That album was so enjoyable, with it only being 8 tracks long it left you wanting more, and each track felt important to that album. There was no filler, which is a problem in the modern music age of releasing albums.
Fast forward a year and they’ve released their second album ‘How to Socialize and Make Friends’, finally it was time for another Camp Cope fix. Once again the band opt for a sensible amount of songs, as the album features 9 tracks – but there’s no filler, it’s all premium material.
The album opens up with the suitably named ‘The Opener’ and immediately Georgia Maq is opening up her heart and letting it bleed over the record as she begins tells the tale of a shitty relationship and how badly you can be treated sometimes. The stories in the track are so relatable and put across in such a blunt and honest way in the lyrics.
“Tell me that no one knows me like you do
And tell me that my friends don’t tell me the truth
And maybe I’ll come crawling back to you
Like, that was your plan, right?”
The song then quickly takes a turn as Maq sticks a blunt middle finger up the male dominated music industry. She continues to pull from personal experiences, making the song authentic and making the song one of the best on the record.
This is a recurring feature of the album as Maq consistently dives into her library of experiences and morphs them into beautiful songs for people to understand.
The title track also has these qualities as she expresses how difficult it is to fit in and feel a part of something, with the constant feeling of being lost as she sings “I’m riding in the dark/on my bike with no handlebars”. ‘Anna’ is another insightful track where Georgia urges you to “Get it all out/ Write another song”. It’s hard not to think that this her giving advice to anyone who’s struggling or dealing with something, as it’s quite clear this is how Maq thinks things through and starts shifting that weight of her shoulders.
Musically it’s great to hear that the band have stuck with their sound, as it still has that lo-fi gritty sound attached to it. In some respects it could be considered as part 2 of their first album, as there’s not much difference instrumentally – but the songs are individuals due to the topics sewn to them.
The band then work their way through with ‘Sagan-Indiana’ and ‘The Omen’ which are both talent-fuelled. ‘Animal and Real’ really sticks out in the mind due to the vocal performance, which has this desperation clinging onto it, which again lends to the argument that everything Camp Cope do has meaning attached it and isn’t just thrown together for the sake of.
The final track ‘I’ve Got You’ is a circle song which means the chords cycle in the same order, beginning to end. The song is about Georgia’s father Hugh Mcdonald who passed away in 2016, and in isolation, when nothing is going on around you, this song is emotionally very powerful. Georgia throws everything into this track allowing herself to be an open book. She provides lyrics like :
“They said there’s something inside of you / So they tried radiation, chemicals too”
“And you said there’s broken links in your brain/ And I said it’s okay, mines exactly the same”
It’s lines like these which make the songs very real and close to home, and for someone to have the ability to craft a song out of times like these should be respected. Not only because the song is a stunning piece of work, but to write about something like this helps so many people who are going through similar struggles in their life.
Personally this album triumphs their last, because it feels like they have become somewhat more refined in their songwriting, and also this albums is capable of emotionally moving you and making you think. Camp Cope have become more of a well-known band over these last two years to due to their solid releases on Bandcamp, however I see this album being their most pivotel and most important to their progression.
Words by Alex Wise @AJWise