If you’ve seen the video to ‘Round The Moon’, the first single to be released from this EP, you’ll know that the initial guise of a band of Swedish teenagers that Summer Camp went under wasn’t a complete red herring. Pieced together from the obscure flick A Swedish Love Story, the video manages to distil this real life couple’s obsessions perfectly, those being 80s Brat Pack flicks, summer, and High school romances. The images of tear-stained, leather-clad teenagers clinging to each other for dear life fits with Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey’s project to the extent that it seems almost unfair to call it a guise. Those blurry photos of fuzzy-haired teenagers in stripy t-shirts and large-framed glasses that were initially presented to us on their myspace page simply depict the escapist world Summer Camp inhabit right now. And even though they’ve broken the enigma, they still rely upon it to it to the extent that it’s hard to see past those hazy ideals of teenage romance: the Young EP is saturated in them. High school romances have been plundered for all they’re worth, both as source of escapism and sadness that results from reminiscing (“I’ll never be young again”, Liz sings on ‘Veronica Sawyer’). It wouldn’t be unfair to say that the result is nostalgic to the point that it comes close to being a self-indulgent geek-fest. Fortunately, the songs more than stand up for themselves.
It’s hard not to imagine that these bedroom recordings have been put together inbetween repeat viewings of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. Their association with John Hughes’s films is so heavy that you’d be disappointed if Molly Ringwald and Matthew Broderick didn’t teleport in live alongside Liz and Jeremy to complete the band. All of the references are present and correct, from Say Anything to Teen Wolf and Heathers. Production wise, the Young EP sounds fuzzy, a little bit shambolic, and scratchy as fuck, which is how you’d expect it to be. ‘Ghost Train’, the song that has introduced so many people to Summer Camp, remains as brilliant as ever within the EP context, its girl-group vocals and twinkling synths a joy. ‘Round The Moon’ sounds bigger and glossier than anything else, and that’s partly down to Jeremy’s vocals, which add the kind of roundness lacking elsewhere. It also helps that the chorus is the finest piece of unrestrained teenage yearning here, Liz’s backing vocals binding onto Jeremy’s to create a huge emotional swell: “And we’ll dance all night/Hold each other close to the morning light/Come on home with me and it’ll be alright”. Other tracks―such as the slightly flat ‘Was It Worth It’―could have benefitted from the between the male-female interplay as Liz’s voice occasionally strains and stretches beyond its limits. Not that that matters much when it’s so apparent that these two are having an amazing time remembering what it was like to feel 16 again.