Born in a backyard in over home job tattoos, Camp Cope – Georgia Maq (vocals, guitar), Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich (bass) and Sarah Thompson (drums) – have become a force in music since forming in Melbourne in June 2015.
Their newly released sophomore album How To Socialise & Make Friends anchors on the cycles of life, loss and growth through resilience and those moments of finding and being yourself. It celebrates the joys of being an independent unit and knowing who you are without any influence from external factors, and non-romantic love felt towards friends; the women who shape you and women working together to find strength in numbers. It has been praised by triple j (Feature Album), The Independent (4 stars), Vinyl Mag (9.5/10), All Music (4 stars) among others. The Guardian’s co-head music critic Andrew Stafford awarded the album 4 stars, saying, “For a generation that’s grown up watching vocal talent quests, hearing the unrestrained gusto of McDonald singing these simple, direct songs will be empowering. In 20 years, young women especially will approach her and thank Camp Cope for encouraging them to pick up a guitar and tell their own stories. And so the baton will be passed, and picked up again.”
Led by the singles ‘Lost: Season One’ and ‘Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams’, their Australian Music Prize-shortlisted self-titled debut saw critical acclaim from all corners, including in SPIN’s best emo, top albums in Noisey (US), with Brooklyn Vegan naming them one of the ‘Best New Bands’ and DIY Mag exclaiming, “it’s rare to find a band with the sheer songwriting ability and integrity of Camp Cope.” They sold out two shows at Sydney Opera House as part of Vivid LIVE 2017, before touring the US for the first time, playing through 13 states with Brooklyn band Worriers. Upon returning home they headlined Melbourne’s Weekender Fest and most recently headlined a huge homecoming show at Melbourne’s iconic venue The Forum.
In September 2016, Camp Cope together with bands and musicians from Australia and abroad united for the It Takes One campaign to say enough is enough: no more sexual and physical assault at shows. The campaign continues to drive conversation around safe spaces at shows, including the introduction of the safe spaces Hotline initiative at Laneway Festival.