Dreamy and Upbeat Collide: Creature Camp

Creature CampF

Their sound: Synth rock
For fans of: Future Islands, The National, Animal Collective

Some say they sound like The Cure went surfing. To music retailer zZounds, they’re proving “that dreamy and upbeat don’t have to be mutually exclusive.” Whatever you call it, Creature Camp is creating original sound.

“Synthesis and sampling let creators open musical doors that have never been touched or thought of before,” says band member Chris Hemphill, who you will hear on keys, synth, samples, and vocals. “I am extremely proud when the audience doesn’t know what hit them, and they like it.”

Cory Anchors is the founder, chief lyric writer, and visual artist of the group. It was also Anchors who drew images of animals one day, and without prompting, each band member saw themselves as a different one. They’d go on to create masks for their “creature” identities. “The masks are simply how we see ourselves right now,” Hemphill says. “We’re all different creatures who enjoy radically different music, but we can come together in a way that no one feels their expression is being drowned out.”

The band name evolved as the group itself did. It all started with Anchors wanting to experiment with new lyrical and musical ideas. He recruited LeAlan Carter on lead guitar and backing vocals, David Hildebrand on drums, and Hemphill to play as Deer Empire. From there they added Adam Huett on bass and backing vocals, and Creature Camp first performed in June 2014.

“Some blues guys, indie rockers, folks who like noise, and a guy who was wondering where the sheet music was sounds like a disastrous recipe,” Hemphill says of their first practice sessions. “But from it, we learned that with those tough, long sessions, we would eventually find a harmony. It’s kind of how I live my life now. Instead of trying to win or impose my will on people who are different, I’m really just looking for harmonies/what will make us ‘sound’ the best together.”

See them: At Spring Street Firehouse for Sidewalk Film Scramble Aug. 20, at Avondale Brewing Company Aug. 27

  1. Eugenius Neutron
  2. The Burning Peppermints
  3. Anna Thomical of Zenosyne
  4. Rashid Qandil
  5. Jason Slatton
  6. Ashley Sankey and Company
  7. Creature Camp
  8. In Snow
  9. Lee Shook
  10. Gary Wheat
  11. Chris Hendrix

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