Release Date 03/02/2020
Space Camp is an experimental project from South Windsor, Connecticut. Active in many forms since 2013, the project now centers around childhood friends Sam Usifer (drums, vocals) and June Violet Aino (keyboards, trombone, vocals).
Although the lineup has seen many iterations, 2019’s Overjoyed in This World is Space Camp at its most sincere, both lyrically and musically. The album is an eclectic fusion of electronic and acoustic elements - delicate string arrangements over heavy industrial drum machines. Influences range from the challenging neoclassical of Stravinsky to the futurist hyperpop of SOPHIE. Aino and Usifer disrupt the paradigm of “heavy” music by replacing textures usually created by guitars with bass-heavy synthesizers, distorted trombone, and blown-out percussion.
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, RI (Lightning Bolt, The Body, Daughters), Seth Manchester captures the freneticism and sonic chaos of Space Camp's live show and distills it into a record which feels intricate, yet coherent. “Welcome to My Castle” has all the energy of a punk show, while “She Tells Me Yes Yes Yes” is a powerful dirge laden with 808s and shrieking vocals from Tyler Trelease (Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean). On “Girders,” Space Camp trades its standard grindcore succinctness for a slow-burning epic clocking in at a record three and a half minutes. Frequent collaborator Clara Zornado (Lady Queen Paradise) sings against Aino’s chopped screams and a trucking industrial beat.
The songs range from fast and hectic to spacious and brooding, with lyrical content revolving around gender, body dysmorphia, queer love and survival. On “The Rift,” Olivia West (Edge Petal Burn) depicts a failing relationship, while the album’s opener, “Space Camp IHeartRadio Music Festival Meltdown” is a triumphant self-affirmation against predatory gaze. On “Overjoyed in This World,” Space Camp have demonstrated their sonic ideology as truly genre-less and utterly genuine, and therefore curated a sound all its own. The best way to understand it is to hear it.