Cayetana and Camp Cope join forces for the perfect international split.
“Still can’t decide whether I wanna waste money, or waste my time / I’ll probably stay inside, never really been the social type.” This, from Camp Cope’s new song “Keep Growing,” is the opening line of the band’s recently released split with Cayetana. It's a statement stemming from a place of uncertainty that sets up the tone of eventual self-reclamation that’s woven throughout both sides. The four songs unflinchingly tackle some heavy themes and revisit personal experiences while retaining a distinct sense of place – Cayetana is Philadelphia-based while Camp Cope comes from Melbourne – proving that two bands from across the world can so naturally coexist in the close quarters of a split EP.
The songs are intentionally arranged, and each band’s distinct songwriting style remains clear in the threading together of their common themes. The opener “Keep Growing” feels like an anthem of sorts, starting out in a place of uncertainty before blossoming into an avowal of self-affirmation – Georgia Maq’s softly lush lead vocals find justification in doing nothing, refusing to give in to pressure. “I’ll keep growing my hair out, it’s not for you” is the perfect way of claiming the validity of doing what you want to do in spite of criticism. Camp Cope can hold their own, but Cayetana’s “Mesa” is a rousing follow-up, a fast-paced track that questions the longevity of a relationship while appreciating the beauty in its fleeting moments. Augusta Koch's sharply sung words are measured and honest, realizing that, “We can only hurt ourselves for so long / We can only hurt each other til it all goes wrong,” but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride. The power ballad is grounded in the self-awareness and the acceptance of inevitability – and through this comes appreciation for the present, as seen in my favorite line: “Together we make flowers out of weeds / dance in garbage instead of leaves.”
Cayetana’s prediction of impending loss folds easily into Camp Cope’s next offering, the feelings-heavy “Footscray Station.” Here, the band’s storytelling is at its strongest, the song peppered with sharply detailed recollections of a love affair beginning and ultimately ending. The song avoids being wistful or pining after what’s gone, with “when you closed the door behind you it sounded like you couldn’t wait to leave / I’m not that stupid, please don’t try to patronize me,” once again giving way to a desire to recognize and accept the past, and move forward stronger. Cayetana’s shorter closer “Trails” complements these sentiments. Reflecting the memories of a fizzled out relationship, the song’s raw emotion and sense of resignation questions whether patterns of experience repeat – “Am I doomed to fail, am I doomed to repeat them?” – before surrendering to a rallying drum beat and a hopeful ending, one of acknowledging the past but moving on in order to embrace new days.
Listen to the split on bandcamp.
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Sarah Hojsak is from Philadelphia and writes about music and other things. She likes hazelnut coffee and buying more books than she can read. Catch her on a good day at a show being emotional about how good music is, or on a bad day doing the same thing but through headphones.