camp counselor is the project of St Louis’ Mickey Yacyshyn, who you might remember from 2017’s Rose Ceremony, and also helps run It Takes Time Records. Since then camp counselor has become a full band, adding Andy Lewis, Hannah Rainey, and Matt Sullentrup, and made a new EP, scabs.
“I have scars up and down my body from changing shape, as I learn to take up space”, Yacyshyn sings at the beginning of ‘museum of broken relationships’, which is a good introduction to the EP as a whole. The past leaves cuts and bruises, and they’ll always feel tender, but our narrator is summoning the strength to move on. As Yacyshyn describes, “[scabs is] a record about letting your wounds heal, and leaving behind the ones you no longer need!”
‘devil’s advocate/apathy’ is an intimate pop song that sees Yacyshyn put their heart firmly on their sleeve. “I’m so sick of crying,” the sings, “I don’t have any more in me.” ‘black crayon’ charts two people just a year apart, from teens to twenties, absence and nostalgia mingling in bittersweet indie pop. It’s a good example of how camp counselor combine painful angst and whimsical joy, a song about the death of old hopes and dreams ending on the line “the older I get I’m more comfortable using scissors.”
‘turning songs into rituals’ is a hushed bedroom pop song, complete with snippets of wisdom from Bob Ross, before closer ‘when it counted’ rounds things off with a quiet sense of gladness, Yacyshyn saying “thank you” to all of their loved ones. Its has a lot in common with fellow It Takes Time act American Poetry Club, the same combination of sadness and big-hearted hope in everyone around.
scabs is out now on It Takes Time Records and you can get it from Bandcamp on cassette and download.