They draw inspiration from folklore, religion, and historical events, with their upcoming album paying special attention to disasters in Pennsylvania’s history. Beginning in February the duo will hit the road to promote their new work, armed with a preview of the new album only available for purchase at their live shows. Their latest project finds the duo delving into heavier sonic terrain than in their previous releases. After forming in Boston in 2006, the band relocated to Jacob’s hometown of Pittsburgh, PA in 2009 and were inspired to write material about their, at times conflicted, relationship with their new city.
They also became fascinated with stories centered around disasters that have happened throughout Pennsylvania’s history, including the underground mine fire in Centralia and a deadly smog that swept through Donora. With these personal and historical experiences in mind, they wrote songs that explore man’s relationship to industry and to the earth, the way our work can come to define us, and the struggle to find a place to call home. Putting a modern twist on Appalachian musical traditions, each song is built around a musical phrase that acts as a continuous thread throughout the piece but is played by instruments as varied as baritone guitar, ukulele, and synthesizers. In keeping with Appalachian ballads, Action Camp strives to immerse the listener in each story by taking the grandness of history and making it tangible and personal again.
“We’re fans of bittersweet music,” Alexander says, “We like a catchy pop melody, but we’re also hinting at something darker lying underneath.” Action Camp’s past achievements include participating in the first installment of Pittsburgh’s Hi-Rez Artist Residency Program in which they crafted a musical response to the works of Maxo Vanka found on display at St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church. They also collaborated on the project Conspiracy for Good, an online “augmented reality drama” game started by Heroes creator Tim Kring. Action Camp has produced an LP, two EPs, an album of cover songs, and three live albums.
Their live performances have been hailed as, “a work of stagecraft, a piece of theatre, and a big-top attraction that is...access to an imaginary universe, a playland of sound that can take on any sound or style imaginable” (Burghsounds). Though Action Camp’s style has evolved over the years, fans remain drawn to their music’s mix of the dramatic with the intimate. Action Camp is excited to bring their latest work to a new audience as they tour the Midwest and the South in the coming months. Read more on Last.fm.
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