Saya’s Album of the Week: Summer Camp by Adam Melchor

Recorded at home, rising singer-songwriter Adam Melchor’s latest EP Summer Camp is a gem of today’s indie-folk. If you haven’t Melchor’s name yet, you probably will soon–he’s already gained lots of popularity through singles and short EPs within the past few years, and his songs are being added to numerous top Spotify playlists. 

Showing colors of both modern and classic influences alike, Melchor has developed his own niche production style in Summer Camp–combining soft layered vocals (comparable to familiar favorites like Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes) with some experimental effects, such as reversed vocals in the intro of “Jewel”. Although these subtle sounds are often sprinkled in the background, they’re part of what makes Melchor’s music a cinematic-like experience. His songs feel like different movie scenes, telling us the story of the character he has created in Summer Camp. When you listen closely, you’ll hear how heartfelt Melchor’s lyrics are, and come from a very genuine place. 

“I Choose You” and “Jewel” are upbeat, romantic tunes that perfectly recreate the feeling of infatuation–and will easily put you in a cheerful mood. “Help Yourself” features the incredible indie producer/artist Ethan Gruska, and is a beautiful blend of the two artists’ sounds. Stylistically, the guitar chords and melody recreate the essence you’d find in a Gruska album–while the production fits into the mold of Summer Camp. The words seem like a fifty-fifty crossover, conversational lines sounding like Melchor, and the unique word choices (like “hungry and hollow”, “telepathic”) reminiscent of Gruska’s. It’s exciting to see two upcoming artists of eclectic styles come together, and the song adds an interesting angle to the EP. 

Most songs on Summer Camp are built on the foundation of acoustic guitar, but “30 Minutes” contrastingly features a catchy piano melody. The tune is a melancholy one–marking the EP’s transition from blissful in the beginning, to bittersweet by the end with “Buzzer Beater”. Melchor’s melodies, especially in the last few songs of Summer Camp prove themselves to be warm and memorable, echoing similarities with more old-timey folk artists like Simon & Garfunkel and Nick Drake. 

Adam Melchor is a talented storyteller, and clearly skilled at creating concepts for lengthier works of music. Hopefully, he’ll gift us with an album sometime in the near future…but in the meantime, be sure to give Summer Camp a listen: