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Camp Cope - Running With The Hurricane (Album Review)

Monday, 04 April 2022 Written by Laura Johnson

Photo: Nick Mckk

Some people believe only unhappy people make good music. Camp Cope’s third LP, ‘Running With The Hurricane’, reckons otherwise. Vocalist and guitarist Georgia Maq explained in recent interviews that the Australian band are now more at peace, but that’s not to say they’ve abandoned their candid songwriting for empty tracks about love and unity. They continue to tackle topics completely on their own terms, successfully avoiding tropey pitfalls in the process.

Maq co-produced the record with Anna Laverty, having learnt the ropes in 2020 while recording a solo pop album she currently has no plans to release. The benefits of the experience are evident in the layered vocals and more considered arrangements on tracks such as Jealous, as well as additional instrumentation courtesy of Courtney Barnett, on Caroline and Sing Your Heart Out, and Shauna Boyle of Cable Ties on One Wink At A Time.

The former track opens the record and immediately illustrates Maq’s newfound vocal restraint, opting for peaks and troughs in place of zero to 100 jumps, while the latter sees her falsetto vocal melody matched by a trumpet.

The rhythm section of bassist Kelly Hellmrich and drummer Sarah “Thomo” Thompson, meanwhile, is largely responsible for driving the momentum.

Hellmrich continues to weave earworm bass lines over Maq’s understated guitar, and drummer Thompson delivers dynamic percussion throughout, perfectly reading the room for tracks that need a full-blown approach, and those that require a pull on the reins.

Acoustic guitar has been added to every track, and the closer Sing Your Heart Out finds Maq switching six strings for a piano, with the song’s inspiration coming courtesy of a melody sent to her by Simon Little of Frightened Rabbit. 

Despite her newfound perspective, Maq’s lyrics still pull no punches. “I've been going down, givin' strangers head, And I've been telling myself that I'm better than this, but I'm not, no one is,” she sings on Caroline. On the title track she declares, “Look out boys I’m on fire, and I’m not going out.”

Defiance and empowerment, whether they relate to life lessons, sex, love or the relationships you find in the spaces inbetween, are themes that continue to run through Camp Cope’s work. This time around, though, they’ve realised you can only shout so loud, and sometimes a change of tack is necessary for the progression of the band.

On ‘Running With The Hurricane’, the trio’s ability to harness such a spectrum of emotion and musicality with finesse shows a maturity beyond their years and previous releases, as does Maq’s songwriting. Sing Your Heart Out encapsulates the sentiment perfectly: “You are not your past, not your mistakes, Not your money, not your pain, Not the years you spent inside, You can change and so can I.”


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