When Georgia Maq describes riding down the street on her bike in the titular track of Camp Cope’s second album, she sticks pretty close, repeatedly, to this one note within the melody. It’s a sort of relentless and brave thing to do, but that’s when you remember the reason this band have thrust their fists into the posts and made such a mark on contemporary Australian music is not just their lyrics – although they are 24-carat raw and relatable – but their melodic and rhythmic choices too.
With basslines that shift between spirited-stoic (The Opener) and pattering hustle (UFO Lighter) from Kelly-Dawn Helmrich, a satisfying looseness in tempo from drummer Sarah Thompson, and achingly judicious guitar from Maq, these tracks don’t brandish a million chords and they rarely (ever?) have the dourly predictable middle eight – but you’ll remain wholly engrossed.
Of course it’s Maq’s vocal performance that lances like a spire through a priest. The most gut-wrenching and meditative lyrics are found in The Face Of God, the story of a sexual assault: “What would have happened if I’d done one thing different?” she asks, and follows with the struggle of separating art from action: “Is it true, could you do that to someone? Not you – your music is too good.” Truly, an indispensable record for 2018.
How To Socialise & Make Friends is out March 2 via Poison City Records.
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