Do you sometimes miss those days you spent at a summer camp as a kid? Do you still remember the names of all your summer friends? Do you recall all the swimming you shamelessly took for granted? Now living in a concrete jungle of Brooklyn, you’d kill for a day at a lake on a hot summer day. What about all the nature, games, friendship bracelets, and slow dancing at a social? What if I told you that you could relive it, along with some indie bands and booze added to the mix? We gladly went and spent an incredible day upstate this past Saturday at Summer Camp organized by music blog The Wild Honey Pie with Caveman, Yellow Ostrich, Pearl and the Beard, Widowspeak, Belle Mare, and Vensaire.
Out of about 1,200 RSVPs to the event, only 100 campers received a mysterious email instructing us to take the 8:50AM train from Grand Central to Bedford Hills. “This is your one shot to get up to the property so please don’t miss the train!” said the email. Getting up (relatively early for a Saturday) totally paid off. A school bus awaited a bunch of happy campers at the train station with the camp director Eric Weiner, who runs The Wild Honey Pie and was directly responsible for our awesome day.
The school bus took us to the magical property of Eric’s parents who gave us a warm welcome. A lake, pool, meadow of flowers – we felt like we’d been transported to another world. I also have to say that seeing that Eric’s parents are such big supporters of his work left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside…
Each of the invited bands played at a different location on the property with a different theme. The Wild Honey Pie was taping musical performances so we heard each song twice, but that didn’t take away from the overall awesomeness and smoothness of the day.
The Wild Honey Pie did a wonderful job curating the music; each of the bands sounded nostalgic, introspective, and dreamy like a memory of childhood spent at a summer camp.
We heard Cavemen, who are the next big indie band, according to the campers whisper by the pool where the band performed. I mean seriously, can you imagine a better way to listen to Cavemen than hanging onto a swimming noodle with a beer in your hand?
Pearl and the Beard is a trio composed of two ladies (Jocelyn Mackenzie, Emily Hope Price) and Jeremy Styles. Pearl and the Beard’s folk-pop, with its eclectic tones at times, stood a bit apart from the rest of the dreamy nostalgia bands, however their sound was refreshing and we enjoyed the fun set up—Emily played standing by the drums, Jocelyn played cello.
Yellow Ostrich played the most acutely nostalgic set. Alex Schaaf’s vocals took us so far away, and the dream catchers hanging on the trees gently flew in the wind.
Here at Bushwick Daily, we are big fans of Widowspeak, and can you imagine how much more we fell in love with them after we saw them playing on a boat gently floating on the lake. Some of us stood on the pier, others floated on canoes, whispering softly while Widowspeak played their gentle, otherworldly session. Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas are going places, there’s no doubt!
Belle Mare, strategically placed among the flowers, creating sweet piano tones mixing them with old-fashioned chanteuse.
Our camp day ended with a social organized at a garage, complete with balloons, glow sticks and slow dancing. Vensaire were, to my surprise, quite a wild bunch. Their live performance is a lot of fun to dance to; the sounds of traditional Chinese music layered with psychedelic folk got us moving.
“I already miss you so much. Next year we’ll make it to the A team,” I overheard some campers hugging each other as the night dew silently appeared on the grass. Bonfire, singing and s’mores were the exclamation mark after an amazing event created by The Wild Honey Pie.
It wasn’t a festival, it wasn’t a private party, and it wasn’t only a live taping. Summer Camp was an experiential musical event with all its nostalgia and country living temptations. Eric Weiner promised to make this an annual tradition, and we certainly hope he keeps his promise because Summer Camp just made our summer…