Camp, much like a lot of modern/post-modern art, tends to invoke a sense of derision and belittlement in many people. One of the most common rejoinders directed at it is “Well, I could do that!” or, even worse, “my kid could do that!” If we’re being sympathetic to such hypothetical observers and “critics”, we could say that such a response derives from the fact that camp, and related genres/styles, combine “high” aesthetics, topics, and instruments (that is, aesthetics, topics, and instruments which are considered prestigious or exclusive) and “low” forms of execution and expression (that is, styles, ideas, and themes which are considered common, simple or somehow crass). Of course, that’s exactly where the strengths and allure of camp lies, in the mixing of both “high” and “low” art, a mixture which can be radical, powerful, and engaging.
Example? Well, many abound but the subject of this post is an exceptionally pleasing one. Queen Frequency & The Twats make a sort of psychedelic rock, akin in more ways than one to blog favorites, The Neptune Power Federation. They too weave themes of science fiction into their music, mostly space opera, alongside other ideas like feminism and empowerment. But where The Neptune Power Federation channel a more grandiose vibe, Queen Frequency are all about the pink, yellow, and bright blue atmosphere of psychedelic, genre bending greats like David Bowie or the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“Symphony of -tions”, the first chapter of their space opera epic which we are proud to premiere here today, is a very good indication of how this works. The opening guitar line is playful but present, almost immediately backed by synths that sound straight out of some hazy spacecraft as it traverses a 60’s pulp galaxy. The vocals, as is only natural for a concept album/track, take front and center, their timbre channeling that same sort of playful-yet-engaging tone as the guitars. Put everything together and the final track is best described as a romp, an engaging rock tune that both opens up expansive imagery and just simply makes you move along to its tune.
If you add the excellent production value which surrounds it, like in the first images we have of an upcoming music video for the track, and the lie to the criticism which we opened with becomes plain to see. While things might seem incidental and haphazard, that is the entire idea with camp. The “shallow” exterior is actually carefully crafted and maintained, inviting you to reconsider your position on what is serious and what isn’t. Queen Frequency & The Twats are very good at that and we can’t wait to see where they take things next.
Their album is set for sometime this year, so keep your eyes peeled as we learn more. You can on head on over to the groups’ Patreon to learn more (and support them) or follow them on Instagram. In the meantime, kick back and let “Symphony of -tions” wash over you and transport you to another realm, where the distinction between the “serious” and the “playful” breaks down amidst a trip in space.