by EJ Coleman
And so our time together has come to an end once more. As we are jolted from sleep one last time by blares of canned reveille and try to stuff everything back into our trunks and duffle bags, it’s time to say goodbye to Bandcamp Camp. Maybe one day we’ll all walk through these hallowed campgrounds together again.
Track: “Sappho” (Apr. 2016)
Artist: Frankie Cosmos
Tags: blues, dog sounds, quiet, sad, secret, stupid
Favorite Lyric: “is it cool when I don’t care? / can you feel me in the air? / under the crack in the door, / can you tell I have no floor?”
Frankie Cosmos reminds me of Juno (2008) and Maddy, who, incidentally, is the one who introduced me to Frankie in her review of dirty knees by Tony Peachka. Like Juno‘s great soundtrack and Maddy herself, Frankie Cosmos transports me to a world where my life is full of quirky imagery and wandering dialogue. Like in many of my more pleasant dreams, I wear a lot of mismatched patterns and doodle in notebooks, I listen to Belle and Sebastian Write about Love, and also Kimya Dawson is there.
Track: “Renovations” (Feb. 2016)
Artist: Harmony Woods
Tags: alternative, emo, indie
Favorite Lyric: “I miss the days before we started to drift away when we could talk about nothing for hours straight.”
I’m pretty sure Harmony Woods is one of those artists that I have mutuals of mutuals with on Twitter. Or maybe I came across this song on someone’s new releases playlist. Regardless of how I came across this song, it matters that I did at all.
This song strikes a chord deep within me. There are feelings and thoughts I think we all have but never know are that universal. So many times I’ll read a line in a book or hear a song or watch a movie and see a situation so familiar to me that I never really thought other people were in too. This is one such song, and it made me realize how ridiculous it is that we should think no one else has ever felt the same way just because no one ever talks about it. I don’t think this is necessarily uncommon or taboo, just something that never occurred to me could be felt by others, and this song describes one such moment for me.
Track: “Why Are You So Boring?” (Mar. 2017)
Artist: Desperate Journalist
Tags: alternative, goth, indie, indie pop, post-punk
Favorite Lyric: “Please will you forgive me / I have only lived these / abstracts in your decrees”
Described to me as “like The Cure and Sleater-Kinney had a baby, it’s so good, literally every single one of their songs is good, this is gonna be the album I play on repeat all year”, this song fills the void I didn’t know existed. Sometimes you just need to rock out, you know? Here’s an opportunity to do so while pretending you’re the cool alternative kid in a 90’s high school movie.
Track: “Etruscans” (Mar. 2017)
Artist: The Mountain Goats
Tags: rock, activism, politics, protest
Favorite Lyric: “Sift through the things we had that seem worth fighting for / Dig through the embers / Seek out a witness to the times we used to share / We doubt the pretenders”
Our First 100 Days, a bright light in this darkness, is just as fantastic as we all had hoped it would be, churning out tune after tune to soothe you while the bleaker news notifications roll in. Among lesser-known-but-equally-talented names like Jens Lekman and Mitski, there are a few big name heavy hitters. Day 71, for example, brings The Mountain Goats, in all their “record-the-take-before-I-even-learned-how-to-play-the-song” glory.
Like all good folk punk folk, I love The Mountain Goats. I think about “No Children” and cry immediately, John Darnielle quotes paper the inside of my eyelids, and honestly, if you don’t listen to artists who write songs about cannibal and almighty Jedi, you’re doing it wrong. By the time this posts I will have probably already listened to their new album Goths (which comes out today) half a dozen times in at least three different mediums.
In true Mountain Goats form, “Etruscans” is biblical and bitterly optimistic in turns. It is rough and raw and paints a portrait of a bleak opportunity that looks less like a painting and more like a window. It’s exactly why the project exists, and exactly the outlook we need to leave with.
Tomorrow: Scrapbooks, glue, fond memories, and more.