Photo: Naomi Lee
In the midst of the #MeToo movement, we need more bands like Camp Cope.
The Melbourne trio was described as feminist rock by Pitchfork, but Camp Cope’s anecdotes, focus, and embodiment go beyond labels. It's easy to commend their artful efforts, themes of female empowerment and equality, and those sweet punk-inspired sounds that can uplift traumatic life events. It's also becoming very clear that Camp Cope speaks both loudly and emphatically to the female millennial generation they belong to. However, their uncompromising drive and deeply virtuous approach to lyricism isn't tied to any specific gender. With that, Camp Cope's contemporary vibe and pertinent lyrics are universal to all those with a heartbeat, soul, and most importantly, an open mind.
After releasing a handful of singles, things began to bloom as the band debuted their lo-fi, pop-punk self-titled LP to much critical acclaim back in 2016. Since its release, the album has panned a trio of songs ("Jet Fuel Can't Melt Steel Beams," "Done," and "Lost (Season One)") reaching an upward of 1.5+ million streams each on Spotify. The proficient work piqued the interest of stateside label, Run For Cover Records, to sign the band to their eclectic roster of bands. If Camp Cope's debut effort was simply the start of something raw and cutting-edge, then their follow-up endeavor, How To Socialise & Make Friends (out now), is the birth of something entirely exceptional, rivaling the best in what the genre has to offer. Recent single, "The Opener," delves head first into sexism found in the music industry, a searing topic that has been an open discussion the past year.
With this contemptuous and unflinching verse, "It’s another man telling us we can’t fill up the room / It’s another man telling us to book a smaller venue / ‘Nah, hey, cmon girls we’re only thinking about you’ / Well, see how far we’ve come not listening to you / Yeah, just get a female opener, that’ll fill the quota,“ Camp Cope shows conviction and fortitude while giving the "man" a big middle finger, deservingly so that is. The group's performance of "The Opener" at the Sydney Opera House was the first time a punk band, and a band of only female members, has been filmed live there.
The album's title track, which serves as the latest single, has members Georgia Maq (vocals/guitar), Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich (bass), and Sarah Thompson (drums) soaring with their artistry, individuality, and aptitude for intrepid songwriting. After receiving accolades from Pitchfork, Stereogum, Alternative Press, SPIN, NPR, and Brooklyn Vegan, to name a few, this appears to be the year Camp Cope unequivocally makes their way to the apex of their scene. As mentioned before, Camp Cope hails from the land down under, just like another Ones To Watch act, the female-led indie-rock band, Middle Kids.
Camp Cope doesn't subscribe to the concept of inertia. They're setting out to get their voices heard, and rightfully so. Occupying poignancy and purpose, the three-piece act is crafting music with a message. On this sophomore record, their testament to sexism, their declaration to the enjoyments of being independent, and the platonic tales of love and friendship in their songs are refreshing and praised on various levels. At the same token, these badass women are displaying vulnerability and profound attentiveness to the ever-evolving world we all live in together. For those reasons, Camp Cope deserves respect, admiration, and most of all, your complete and undivided attention.
Camp Cope will embark on a headlining tour in Australia this March with Chastity Belt before working on getting new US dates. Stay updated with the latest news from Camp Cope on their Facebook page.
Listen to Camp Cope's How To Socialise & Make Friends and discover your new favorite band.