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Welcome to Condale Import

7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Nov. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Redeye Music Distribution
  • ASIN: B005OH6W5Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Product Description

BBC Review

In the opening chapter to Jon Savage’s Teenage, he contrasts the lives of two young people who rose to prominence in the late 1800s, and gave rise to the perception of those formative years as a state separate from childhood and adulthood: Russian debutante Marie Bashkirtseff and Massachusetts murderer Jesse Pomeroy. Whilst they were notorious for very different reasons – respectively indulgent memoirs and infanticide – their legends achieved maximum potency due to the hasty ends to their lives. Bashkirtseff died of tuberculosis, Pomeroy was confined to prison for the rest of his days, leaving images of them frozen in time forever.

It’s conjuring similarly precise portraits of this fertile, fervid period that makes London duo Summer Camp’s debut album, Welcome to Condale, such a success. When the pair first came to the fore two years ago, hiding behind old sepia pictures and pretending they were six Swedish teenagers, bloggers aligned them with the chillwave movement. Listening back to early demos, they’re characterised by a sultry, languid drift, songs imploring a paramour never to leave some halcyon moment.

However, the band – eventually unmasked as Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey – fast moved away from ideas of spinning out endless summers into developing their own world of twisted youth, transferring the Swedes idea into the cast that populates these songs. Condale, an accompanying fanzine explains, is an LA town where kids run wild in the mansions of dead movie stars, full of torrid love letters and ambitious, worthy mission statements from the town’s local band (so, not dissimilar to John Hughes’ Shermer). It’s inessential to enjoying the album, but demonstrates their commitment to creating a world that rings true thanks to precision rather than cloudy vagaries.

Most importantly of all, there’s no doubting the intent that blazes through the individual songs on the record. The pair acts out power struggles between characters, dominating and demeaning, breaking up and getting back together with the cavalier flamboyance that fades in adult relationships. On opener Better Off Without You – think a bra-burning Shangri-Las – Elizabeth rails pityingly about the drag of a boy who can’t stop calling, tartly stating "there is no me and you". The following song, Brian Krakow (named after a character from My So Called Life – a little odd in their otherwise original story), sees Jeremy’s character laying down the aloof but alluring conditions on which he’s willing to submit to a girl. The power struggles come to a hilt on highlight Losing My Mind, a series of despondencies and ultimatums spelled out through clever line exchanges: "You you you’re wasting my time / Time time I was moving on / On on on honest to god…"

With Pulp’s Steve Mackey on production, …Condale has a stern bite, all bristling synths and ramped up, classic guitar licks. For some, the idea of the album as a character construction may seem insincere, but its cinematic quality and their ability to conjure the sheer ignominy of youth, as on the gum-snapping, eye-rolling Last American Virgin and dark Nobody Knows You, works marvellously. Like Bashkirtseff and Pomeroy before them, Summer Camp’s debut marks a sincere, wryly appealing turning point in the art of romanticised retrospection. --Laura Snapes

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Nov. 2011
Format: Audio CD
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Pretty in Pink", "The Breakfast Club" and now "Welcome to Condale"? Strange but many have noticed that the new album by London duo Summer Camp comprising Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey seems to bring back memories of those great films by the late John Hughes and pay homage to the themes of suburban teen angst, unrequited love and a nice line in gently cutting humor. The sub plot here is the creation of a fictional California town called Condale populated with a range of characters who appear throughout their songs. In reality it doesn't really amount to hill of beans since the core of this album is the presence of glorious 80s based retro pop songs which are meticulously sung by the brilliant Sankey and given a huge almost Human League style backdrop by Warmsley. The timing on this album could be viewed as out of kilter. Check out the video for the pounding synth pop anthem "Night Train" and its all sea, sun and surfers. Yet a blast of UV Rays into these grey November days is most welcome and this is pop music at it most throwaway and disposable, often with its tongue firmly in its cheek but deeply affectionate and loveable all the same. No song fits this sentiment more than the standout track here "I want you" with its huge waves of undulating synths which pound and roll and halfway through mutuate into choppy Depeche Mode style waves of sound with Sankey's vocal literally dripping sex appeal. The title track is a sort of Jan and Dean for the Twitter generation with its mix of dreamy pop and California imagery. Alternatively "Losing my mind" sees a nice duet between our two protagonists and a singalong chorus designed to infiltrate your band and demand an exorcism to get it out.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Bennett on 24 Nov. 2011
Format: Audio CD
My Rating: 9/10

Really love this album. Full of proper songs with an authentic sound. I don't normally like female vocals but here they really work. A joy to listen to, and far more satisfying than all the background pap that seems to permeate the 'industry' at the moment. It goes against the grain, i know, being playful, enjoyable, well written, and, dare i say it, fun. If you're more into analysing music to the nth degree, rather than actually enjoying that simplist of human connections to music then you're better off avoiding this, you simply won't understand it.
If that doesn't rule you out then give it a listen - who knows, maybe this concept style, tongue in cheek, nod to the 80s album will fill the musical void for you too?
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I'm sure the vinyl is fine but I am very dissatisfied with the amazon customer service. I purchased this as a Christmas present for my daughter. It came with a free mp3 download which went to my account and my daughter cannot access it. I asked amazon for help and they replied it could only be accessed by the account holder. I should buy her a gift voucher so she could buy the cd and would get a free mp3 download with that. I complained about that advice and have had no reply. I am sure the vinyl is fine, my complaint is with the customer service from Amazon!

It arrived very promptly and well packaged.
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By AAB on 20 Aug. 2012
Format: Audio CD
This album is just so fresh but heavily reminiscent of the 80's with the classic movie influences and sound bites throughout!
This album has never failed to put a smile on my face even in the snow and I'm still listening to it almost a year later!!
The whole album is great and each song transitions perfectly to the next!
Couple of favourites are 'Better Off Without You', 'Summer Camp', 'Down' and 'Welcome To Condale'.
Needless to say if you hadn't already heard their EP 'Young' you should!!
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