The band said “So Long, Honey” to Athens.
Caamp sounds like autumn leaves and misty mornings; Caamp sounds like denim jackets and brick roads; Caamp sounds like fair trade coffee and bagel sandwiches; Caamp sounds like Athens, Ohio. Caamp sounds like home.
Caamp is a folk band consisting of founding members Taylor Meier (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums) and Evan Westfall (harmony vocals, banjo, electric guitar, drums, percussion), as well as later addition and Ohio University alumnus Matt Vinson (harmony vocals, bass, acoustic guitar). Meier and Westfall were childhood friends who both graduated from Upper Arlington High School in 2012. Meier went on to attend Ohio University in 2013, where he majored in ceramics by day and played his original music in coffee shops by night. Meier later opted for a different path, dropping out of school and convincing Westfall to move to Athens to join him. The two mastered their trademark folksy, warm sound, Vinson joined the band, and the rest is history.
Clearly very inspired by their Midwest roots and the small-town vibes and hills of Athens, Caamp’s music falls into the alternative folk genre. Many of their songs feature plucky banjos and twangy acoustic guitars, though the occasional song features an electric guitar to add some edge. Meier’s voice suits the band’s style beautifully; his gruff and raw tone complements Caamp’s stripped-down sound.
Lyrically, the trio writes narratively, painting elaborate stories of running from the FBI, a man who got stood up by a date, and a mother and her children moving away. Each song radiates wisdom and simplicity. The lyrics are nostalgic and reflective, incorporating timeless elements: a schoolyard crush, an emerald green ocean, a fresh pack of smokes, and a leaky tent. Caamp takes the little things in life and turns them into art.
Caamp’s style is comparable to the “granola” aesthetic: rustic, simple, and timeless. The members often sport boots, denim, flannels, and wide-brimmed hats, which are both stylish and practical for playing festivals and gigs. The band’s signature look pairs well with them sonically, creating a cohesive brand that resonates with their fans.
Many Ohio University students are fans of Caamp because of how close their music is to home. Knowing that these talented musicians penned original songs where Ohio University students grab their daily coffee and hear Vinson gush about Athens hotspots, like Stroud’s Run, where the trio performed for the Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival in 2020, is thrilling. In an interview with Josh Nihiser of the Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies, Vinson said, “Athens’ walkable nature is a very inspiring place because you do not have to be connected to a vehicle or traffic.” The scenery of Athens practically flows through Caamp’s music. If you are ever away from Athens and want a little taste of the rolling hills, black coffee, and towering trees, shuffle Caamp’s discography, close your eyes, and you will be hOUme in no time.