Following many successes since the band’s formation in 2015, Camp Cope prove they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. An emotional second album, How To Socialise and Make Friends highlights Georgia Maq’s intricate storytelling. Lyrics meet with punchy instrumentals, taking listeners on a journey from the heartbreaking to the empowering.
It begins with lead single ‘The Opener’. Buoyed on by an infectious bassline the anthemic track outlines the band’s struggles as an all-female outfit. Georgia Mac pushes her voice to the tattered edge as she takes aim at the Boys Club of the Australian music business. A visceral torrent of personal experiences releases frustration with cathartic lines like, “Tell me again how there just aren’t that many women in the music industry.” It’s a potent plea for change.
The thematic empowerment which defines the track follows throughout. Both title track ‘How To Socialise and Make Friends’ and ‘Animal & Real’ preach independence with mantra-like lines such as “I can see myself living without you/And being fine for the rest of my life.” But the tone of the album quickly changes with ‘The Face of God’ which transgresses from the punchy drum and bass driven instrumentals, to brooding chords and slower tempos. It sees Maq taking all too common lines like, “Could it be true? You don’t seem like that kind of guy” to convey a heartbreakingly accurate recount of sexual assault and the ensuing feelings of isolation.
But as emotionally needling as Camp Cope can be their album also recounts the immeasurable power of platonic love formed within female friendships. If there’s two tracks which support this theme of female empowerment above others it’s ‘Anna’ and ‘Sagan-Indiana’. Both express the powerful bonds of women who work together to empower each other. Strength in numbers.
Maq’s storytelling is again showcased with ‘UFO Lighter’ and ‘The Omen’. Simple lines like “I’m kinda getting by/ But sometimes it’s hard to go outside” are delivered earnestly. Georgia has a way of intoning her words in a way which is all too relatable.
The album closes with another introspective moment. ‘I’ve Got You’ takes on a new approach, isolating only vocals and an acoustic guitar as Maq wrenches out heartache. It recounts her father’s battle with cancer, exploring childhood and expressing the strong friendship that lasts between them even in death.
How to Socialise and Make Friends solidifies the themes and ideas which have steadily grown this band’s fervent fanbase. It’s an album fully capable of taking the Melbourne outfit to a larger audience still. Strong, empowering and inspirational this second record fearlessly kicks in the door and beckons for a generation of artists do the same. Camp Cope have a promising future ahead.
Words by Emily Hollitt