Portland, Oregon, as has been discussed many times in this space, is a mecca of creativity. It’s not hard to understand why. From the quirky citizenry to the jaw dropping natural beauty, Portland exudes and inspires creativity—especially for lovers and creators of music.
I’ve long been associated with the Portland music scene. From playing in bands through high school and on up into my late 30’s, to attending as many concerts as I could (and can), the Portland music scene is a major part of my life. Now, as I approach my 40’s, music is still vital to me, though I am much more selective with the shows I attend and the bands that I support.
One such band that I have happy to throw my hard-earned dollars at, and take the time to find a baby sitter to go see perform for, is Camp Crush.
Formerly known as Santiam, this husband and wife duo consisting of Jen Deale on vocals/keyboards, and Chris Spicer (you may recognize that name from the Spicer Brothers produce store in Oregon City. You would be correct to make that connection) on drums/vocals is a breath of fresh air in a cluttered—and often depressing—musical landscape. Citing influences from the Cure to Depeche Mode, Camp Crush’s music is a wall of sound, that’s undeniably catchy and danceable. Vintage new wave with indie rock and pop undertones, Camp Crush is taking age old sounds and updating them for the new century.
And adding in a twist of Portland.
The lyrics speak a lot about Portland itself, as evidenced on the track Hometown Glory. But they also tackle age old themes of love and loss, hope and despair. Rarely downtrodden, Camp Crush make music that could best be described as optimistic.
Jen croons in a gritty and soulful mezzo soprano, full of warmth and emotion. Meanwhile Chris keepsthe time on his drum kit and provides background (and occasional lead) vocals that are a perfect accompaniment. They are a hard-working band that balances music with full time employment and a family. Their music videos are quirky and fun and, since they are shot in Portland, have an undeniable Portland flair. They could easily be used as Portland, Oregon tourism videos.
Camp Crush has several singles available already on Spotify and music videos that can be easily accessed on YouTube and they have a new EP scheduled to come out in the Spring of 2018. But the live experience is something else all together. They play live frequently and going to their shows reminds me of all the shows I used to play in and attend when I was a younger man. The duo what living in Portland is like. From the lyrical themes to the music itself to the venues that are fortunate enough to have them, catch them now before they explode. Be that Portland guy that says “I saw them first.” And you should.
Check out their upcoming shows and don’t miss their EP release by visiting campcrushmusic.com.