Release Date: Aug 4, 2014
Record label: Moshi Moshi Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Summer Camp’s first two records are so heavily indebted to the plastic-fantastic consumer culture of 80s America that it’s easy to feel they’ve arrived a quarter of a century too late. It was only a matter of time, then, until a like-minded filmmaker would call upon Summer Camp to provide the music for a film examining American youth. ‘Beyond Clueless’, written and directed by Charlie Lyne, is a homage to that critical grey-area in the film industry that is the teen movie.
It was inevitable that Summer Camp and celluloid would eventually collide. The British husband and wife team of Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey already imagined a mythical US town on their debut album, Welcome to Condale, while the band’s live shows regularly feature film clips and archive footage. Beyond Clueless, therefore, is a natural outcome of the duo’s penchant for teen movies and pop culture.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Over the past five years or so, you'd do very well to find a genre that's been quite as de rigeur as synthpop; so ten-a-penny have bands of that ilk been, in fact, that it's very easy indeed to throw around accusations of artificiality. Put simply, plenty of bands have headed down that particular route for no other reason than that it's likely to get you noticed; like the Topshops and Urban Outfitters that those 'artists' so often soundtrack, there's usually little in the way of soul behind their output.
When it came to scoring his Kickstarted documentary about the golden age of teen movies - that's 1995-2004 for those of you taking notes - filmmaker and blogger Charlie Lyne couldn't have asked for a duo better suited to the task than Summer Camp. Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey have made a career from ploughing a musical furrow of artificial nostalgia. A trait that stems all the way back to their very first EP Young, which was a warm tribute to Eighties 'Hughsian' innocence that never really existed beyond the dark of a cinema.
Summer Camp’s 2010 debut EP ‘Young’ was the perfect soundtrack to the best flick John Hughes never made. Ironic, then, that ‘Beyond Clueless’, a soundtrack to a crowd funded documentary about teen movies, is largely devoid of the qualities that made the duo’s early stuff so wonderfully cinematic. Of course, this is a score, designed to be heard as you watch the scenes it soundtracks.
?You know that bit in Mean Girls when Cady imagines all the kids at the mall in the context of an African watering hole? Well, Charlie Lyne has essentially decided to take that scene and make it into a documentary. Like a feature-length YouTube montage of the best bits from all your old favourites with extra commentary on the side, Beyond Clueless is an Attenborough-style analysis of the American teen movie. Lyne talks through why the genre has an almost inexplicable hold on the hearts of millions, even well after they have left the cafeteria and the sports field behind and the high school prom has been lost in the haze of memory (if, in fact, you even had one).