Shrouded in perfumes of mystery befitting of a spot on Agatha Christie’s dressing table are the intriguingly coy Summer Camp. So far, all we know is that they may or may not be Swedish, they possibly met at one such camp as teenagers, and that because there are both ladies and chaps in the band, that’s definitely not them in the photos. The dodgy 70s glasses might have given us an inkling too.
But when you can read what Andrew WK’s using to wipe his ass with on Twitter, there’s something charmingly Cluedo about trying to tinker out nuggets of meaning about them. Do the immaculately produced songs on their Myspace suggest a Spector-style girl group kept fast under lock and key? Or maybe a lone geeky boy in his bedroom with a knack for spinning 50s vocals into Washed Out glitter? Possibly not that last one anyway.
Either way, they arrived on Myspace small and perfectly formed a couple of weeks ago with three heart-meltingly gauzy numbers that sparkle like a sugar-spun Shangri-Las with the crackly old slideshow wooze that colours Girls‘ retro sound, and make the kind of songs you can easily imagine the Lisbon sisters playing down the phone in Sofia Coppolla’s ‘The Virgin Suicides’, bursting with wistful romance and secret messages.
They cover ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’, a song written in the 1930s for the musical ‘Dames’ which detailed the blackmailing escapades of a wily young lady, bringing its femme fatale connotations into the modern age by sampling dialogue from the kickass bloodthirsty 80s film, ‘Heathers‘. Maybe they’re more sinister than their dusky synth whirligigs and sisterly harmonies would suggest…
Their two original songs are nothing short of wonderful too – ‘Ghost Train’ is all magical bursts that laugh with the excitement of being allowed to bash the windchimes in a primary school music lesson, and ‘Why Don’t You Stay’ casts a lulling spell with its gentle doo-wop arpeggios.
Hand firmly on heart, they’re probably one of the most perfect bands you’ll hear this year. And in the words of the Lisbon sisters’ lovesick admirers, “It didn’t matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls… but only that we had loved them…”