Camp Stag - Victoria

New Single Brings With It Joy Of More To Follow

Lee Barber || July 27th

I remember with pride that moment I first played Sirens, the debut release from Stoke  Camp Stag. It was riveting, the local music scene was tantalised by a passionate buzz and then these four lads who everybody loves suddenly dropped this bombshell. It was beautiful. But then I thought to myself, this is an incredible debut release. How could anybody possibly top this?

I have had the same gut-wrenching feeling with some of my other favourite local acts, for example Psyence and their wonder tune Medusa, or Neon Rouge with the ridiculously good Black Mamba. Here I must make a dreadful admission. Now don’t get me wrong, I adore the music of Camp Stag, but up until now, I don’t think their music has quite matched that masterpiece of a debut. Until now.

In the build up to a brand new, as-yet-untitled EP, Camp Stag recently dropped Victoria,  the first release from this new record. And yes, it lives up to the high-standard of Sirens. In fact, I would go as far as saying it takes Camp Stag to a new level of music sophistication and maturity.

Camp Stag still have that unique style, a haunting yet somehow cute nostalgic glance at life, a style which compliments the vocals of Dan Nixon tremendously. Clearly a lot of work has gone into the mixing and mastering this track, late nights were no doubt had at both the Pig Pen and UTC Studios, but the work has definitely paid of with Victoria, and if this track is anything to go by then the EP is going to be massive.

I quite literally sat listening, praying it would drop after the build-up. It was almost as though in my heart I knew that if the drop came, then Victoria had made it into the dizzy heights of surpassing Sirens as Camp Stag’s best song.

Drop, come on, please drop.

Oh wow.

It was a perfect moment. And it’s not just a case of simply thrashing the drum kit and guitar strings, either. There’s a calculated structure even to the drop, a steady pace kept with vigour which leads rather wonderfully into a Strokes-esque guitar solo.

BBC Introducing posed the bold question of whether Camp Stag are “the new The National?” Seeing that The Strokes and The National are two of my all time favourites ensembles, I think I can safely say Victoria is up there as not only the best song so far released by Camp Stag but by any local act so far this year.