Review: Camp Cope — How to Socialise & Make Friends

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 at 5:13 PM
Review: Camp Cope — How to Socialise & Make Friends by Dakota Palmer


The highly underrated alt rock group from Australia, Camp Cope, released their sophomore album, “How to Socalise and Make Friends,” on March 2 through Run for Cover records.

Led by singer and guitarist, Georgia McDonald, the band — which includes bassist Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich and drummer Sarah Thompson — the emotionally transparent, upliftingly depressing record enters the alternative game and lets listeners know that Camp Cope is not a band to be forgotten.

The nine-track album consists of songs about toxic relationships and death, and while a lot of Camp Cope songs sound extremely similar, I don’t mind it for some reason. The similarity makes their albums flow together and create a coherent body of work.

The album begins with “The Opener,” a track that McDonald said in an interview with Pitchfork is a response to everyone who has criticized the band since they released their first album.

At one point, McDonald sings, “You worked so hard, but we were just lucky / To ride those coat tails into infinity / And all my success has got nothing to do with me,” describing how when a male artist becomes popular, they’re often regarded as hard-working. However, female artists all just get “lucky” when they become popular or semi-famous, because there’s no way females could ever earn success through work hard.

The song ends with, “It’s another man telling us we can’t fill up a room / It’s another man telling us to book a smaller venue / Nah, hey come on girls, we’re only thinking about you / Well see how far we’ve come not listening to you.”

The perfect ending to tell all of the men in the male-dominated industry who said Camp Cope couldn’t sell out a venue and couldn’t fill a room that they’re ridiculous and the band will find its own success without their help. What I like most about this anthem is that the women find a way to get their point across without being rude or derogatory. You gotta kill ‘em with kindness and make them see what they’re missing.

“The Face of God” describes a situation of near-sexual assault. A woman is at a man’s apartment and he’s forcing her into having sex with him, so she just leaves. In the fourth verse, McDonald sings, “And (he) said I did something wrong / That somehow what happened to me was my fault,” which details how many people view victims of sexual assault.

In the last year, more and more people have joined the Time’s Up or #MeToo movement, but even today, there a lot of people who victim-blame, saying the victim shouldn’t have been dressed like that or should have said no louder, etc.

The song ends with, “You couldn’t do that to someone / Not you, nah your music is too good,” which involves the Hollywood scene and music scene even more. A lot of people disregard allegations against artists simply because they enjoy their music.

For example, when multiple women accused Jesse Lacey of sexual assault, a lot of Brand New fans defended him, saying there was no way Lacey could ever do such a thing. This song is a perfect example of how people immediately take the side of the performer, rather than the accuser.

“Sagan-Indiana” is about how the singer experienced the death of a loved one and still thinks about it often. Clearly, the person who passed was someone who was named after either Sagan or Indiana, because in the chorus McDonald screams, “Never saw what she was named after.”

The small intricacies on this album make it whole. You can hear each of McDonald’s breaths, which actually are desperate gasps for air, signifying the level of emotion and power she’s putting into the vocals. Typically, heavy breaths in songs take away from the power and the message (i.e. Matt Bellamy of Muse, Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday). But, in McDonald’s case, they work to her advantage.

Between the forceful gasps and the subtle trembles in her voice you can hear while she’s yelping, McDonald’s sounds truly contribute to the feeling of the album.

This record is jam-packed full of feeling. If you’re looking for an album to break your heart and make you self-reflect at 3 a.m., it’s this one. It’s beautifully raw and emotionally revealing.

Standout tracks: “The Opener,” “The Face of God” and “UFO Lighter.”

Stream below:

Dakota Palmer can be reached at

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