Camp Lukewarm: The Hottest Record in Town
Sometimes music speaks to you in a bright, meaningful way - a beat may make you tap your foot, a lyric can tug on your heart strings and bring a tear to your eye, and some songs may even chronicle our lives. The newest record from Lord’s Child, ‘Camp Lukewarm’ is a breath of fresh air into my musical lungs and does all the things above and more.
The record kicks off with track one ‘Camp’, where you are welcomed into Camp Lukewarm by your Camp Counselor. You’re invited by this record, to journey from being Lukewarm, to ‘return to your first love and learn to seek Jesus again’. Camp Lukewarm is not just an album title. It’s not just an idea. It’s a whole concept. A concept where, as you enter into listening to this record, you enter into Camp Lukewarm with your sleeping bag under your arm and a bag packed on your back, ready to go back to the start where it all began.
You’re left with a round robin style choir of layered Montell vocals that leaves you in awe of this guy’s talented genius
This album feels like they have purposefully placed it into 4 distinct parts. The first four tracks, ‘Camp’, ‘Wars’ and a couple of personal favourites ‘Crumble’ and ‘Peter’ set you up in a low-key, lo-fi kind of feeling. There are smooth R&B-like melodies that sit on top of a lo-fi kick, snare and hats combo with a piano (that sounds like it's from your Nanns front room) on the track ‘Wars’. Or the track ‘Camp’ as a sparse song that’s carried along by layers of vocals which pan and harmonise, and a simple electric guitar covered in the chorus. Or even a simple acoustic guitar and some falsetto-sung vocals that sounds like it was lifted straight off of a Bon Iver record on the track ‘Peter’.
Right as that track ends, the Camp Counselor returns to get you up on your feet for the next part of the running order when the speakers are being turned up to 11 and the dance floor begins to fill. Even the percussion is turned up in the next four tracks, ‘Glory’, ‘I’m Going Higher!!!’, ‘Heaven’ and ‘Pray for Me’ as the kicks and snare distort your speakers. It’s as if they have been recorded through that old amplifier you used to play when you were a kid, but is now gathering dust in your garage. And Hulvey, Teddi Jones, and Young C help usher the HipHop section of this record by spitting bars over trashy drums, keys, guitars and synth lines. But then Montell saves the craziest track for himself on the Tyler, the Creator-inspired ‘I’m Going Higher!!’.
We then move onto part three of this record, which feels as if it's part one and two combined. The lo-fi kit returns. The soaring, intimate melodies are brought back by Antione Bradford while Montell plucks away on an electric guitar and plays a little detuned synth in the background on the song‘Cry 4 U’. The distorted kicks are back on tracks ‘White Wall/Too Long’ and ‘Always Enough 4 Me’, along with the gorgeous layered backing vocals that are all over this record and a lovely little acoustic guitar line. The whole album then slows right down with ‘Slipping Way’. Montell Fish sings an R&B-type melody on the shortest track of the album over a solo acoustic guitar before a kit comes in for the briefest moment. You’re left with a round robin style choir of layered Montell vocals that leaves you in awe of this guy’s talented genius. You really are struck by the fact that even when genres on this project may ebb and flow, one thing that really stands out is it’s an acoustic or electric guitar that holds the record together. It may be either a prominent member or even a small layered background part. It's slightly unconventional for a record like this to be held together with a guitar of all instruments, but that’s really what makes this project so special.
You almost feel like you’re getting a glimpse of a real intimate moment into the creative process behind Montells writing
It all then comes into land with the nine minute track ‘Repentance’. Whereas most of the album is Montell Fish and Co., this track is just him and mostly an acoustic guitar. It builds at times, some nice keys, a kit or a vocal sample will come in as he sings about crying out for repentance or ‘would you stay pure’. You almost feel like you’re getting a glimpse of a real intimate moment into the creative process behind Montells writing. Everything is on the table, vulnerable and pure. The Camp Counselor then reappears to ‘thank you for coming to Camp Lukewarm, and hopes that this serves you on your future walk with God.’
The album ends and you are left wishing that you really were swooped off to camp, and that the genuineness of Lord’s Child’s newest record was the breath of fresh air that you needed in this dark January 2021.
Listen here on Spotify