Camp Candle
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Camp Candle

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Electronic




"Camp Candle is a new duo from Philadelphia.."

Camp Candle is a new duo from Philadelphia who've a hip-hop-accented electronic-pop sound that's going to pique your interest the instant you hear it. Starting with "Mr. P", their newest track, we find the pair's sound at its absolute best as the production (Mark "Nu Ra" Cave is the man behind the sound) finds itself wedged between ascending synth melodies, hard-hitting drums, and the free-spirited vocals of lead singer Briana "Hetepsa" Mills. The duo definitely has something special here, and alongside their first track, "Weapons", we think these two talented creatives have something special going with their Camp Candle project. - HillyDilly

"Camp Candle: Instinctive electropop for the people"

“And I feel it….I’m still shaking…..The weapons are drawn against me…I can’t take it.”

“Weapons,” the opening track from Philly-based Electro­Pop duo Camp Candle’s debut ERE, delivers these words on top of a bed of sweet, dreamy synth chords. Heavy programmed beats, handclaps and tambourine bring the song into the realm of traditional black sacred music, a 21st century gospel spiritual of survival and self­-awareness.

Dynamically shifting between loud and quiet sections, the brief, two-minute piece alternately flirts with light and darkness, capturing tense and fearful but resolute spirit of the day. Singer / guitarist Hetepsa describes the song as the hymn of a heart and mind heavy with disappointing revelations about our world. “’Weapons’ represents an awakening to the lies we are surrounded by and fed. The song sounds so happy because although the truth can be hard, it’s still beautiful to be in the know,” Hetespa says.

Producer / multi­-instrumentalist Nu Ra rounds out the duo, laying down a number of colorful beats and arrangements that bridge the gulf between accessible contemporary electronica and layers of ethereal dream­pop.

Hetepsa and Nu Ra initially met in high school and later reconnected while doing session work, writing and producing for local artists. Hetepsa explains “We had worked together with another artist, coming up with song ideas, we fooled around with ideas of our own, but didn’t get serious about it for a while.”

The musical chemistry was undeniable and the two formed Camp Candle in 2014. NuRa: “It wasn’t until we really questioned why weren’t we making music together. All the music I’ve made with other people didn’t really fit with my life. It’s surreal how things fall in place, like this was already mapped out.” Hetepsa shares that sentiment, stating that the duo “just clicks so naturally.”

ERE is full of well-executed ideas, tempering the band’s abstract electronic production with a knack for strong, poppy songwriting. Songs like “The Way” recalls the dancepunk that labels like DFA Records specialized in throughout the 2000’s, while “Wake Up” and “Until The Morning” wouldn’t be out of place on a Sia or Rihanna album, or the latest Soulection mix.

“Black Friday” released as a single earlier this year, marries sharp new wave guitar lines reminiscent of Twin Shadow with the sensuous, drum heavy trip-hop of bands like The Sneaker Pimps or Esthero. Nu Ra explains how the band fuses hip-hop based sampling and sound design techniques with a more “traditional” songwriting style. Throughout ERE, inventive samples are interwoven seamlessly with live bass and guitars.

“The process for ERE took more than a year to complete. We initially didn’t know what direction to take the project in but once we completed ‘Weapons’ we helped to lay a foundation,” explains Nu Ra. “‘Weapons’ and ‘The Birthday Circle’ were created using a plugin called The Mouth in [modular software synth] Reaktor. I like fell in love with that thing because I could literally hum ideas and it would create harmonies I’ve never heard. I come from a hip-hop based background and I really enjoy sampling.”

Camp Candle’s sound is the result of an open, collaborative process of writing and production. Both members share the load of coming up with ideas and composing songs; Hetepsa describes the process as “co-­everything.”

“Our process tends to be very intuitive and related to what either of us is going through,” says Hetepsa. “I guess the feeling would be just what we’re living or seeing other people live. ERE has pieces of the realities we see or experience or even wish to create.”

The duo’s confidence as songwriters and composers shines so brightly through ERE’s eclectic yet accessible sound that it may be surprising to hear that the band considers the EP to be something of a prelude or a “warning shot.” Hetepsa explains the band’s mindstate while working on ERE: “The songs on this project were made when we were still in the unconditioned, pre­footing stage of Camp Candle, we were still figuring ourselves out, even now we’re constantly evolving as a unit. The space we’re in now is the beginning, ERE is the pre­beginning. I wanted to name it Before the Beginning or something cheesy like that, but we decided to scroll through to find a word that held at least some of the meaning of our intent. We shouted words back and forth, Nu Ra found ‘Ere’ which means ‘before (in time),’ and whoop there it is.”

Talking with Nu Ra and Hetepsa about the reception to ERE and their next moves, the band was optimistic but made no grandiose predictions for the future. The emphasis was placed on growth and strengthening their connection with listeners.

“We’re just really excited to share this journey with all the people that we’re coming across,” says Hetepsa.” I don’t know man, Camp Candle isn’t just the two of us, it’s the people.” - The Key XPN


Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Fogged Glass,” the lead single off Camp Candle’s upcoming sophomore EP (February 2017 via MANIMAL). “She is Hetepsa, and he is Nu Ra,” says the band of themselves; what more do you need to know? Blending the indie electronic and dance music worlds, Camp Candle’s hip-hop-accented electronic-pop sounds like a bold mix of The xx and AVICII. With scattered influences and mixed musical backgrounds, Camp Candle may be best experienced without prior knowledge.

Pour ice on the city lights
And run, I’m ready to run
Ready to run
Hearts of wine
No two nights are the same
Realize we’re driving me insane
Into the wall

There’s a distinct veil over Hetepsa’s voice as she begins her journey into the night. She is driven like a moth to the flame, acting on her own volition all the while knowing the inherent risks. But hey, cigarettes kill too, don’t they? Why rationalize one and not the other? You can lose yourself in the nighttime; you are not bound to any rules but your own limitations. You are who you decide to be, and that concept alone is attractive enough.

The night takes a turn in the second verse:

Crumbling inside
I trip and fall again
The night becomes my friend
Memory surrounded by a stain
Liquid dreams that fight against the rain
The bottom of a bottle

The night becomes a friend, but at what cost? This is not the only world; no matter how engulfed one becomes in the moonlit hours, they are inherently an escape from the daytime – and not the other way around. Memory surrounded by a stain, Hetepsa sings, liquid dreams that fight against the rain… We feel the battle between two cultures, worlds that collide in quite a beautiful fashion. The chorus, “Dark nights behind fogged glass, breaking with more people,” grows ever stronger in its repeatition – as if that constant practice ritualistically brings those nights to life again and again.

If I never touch a drop again
Scream miracle I’ll pretend
All’s right and then
Taste loss until I win
Take shots within at me
My holy sin

The third verse is repeated, once lightly, and then with a full background of unadulterated energy. She’s not giving up this hedonistic life: What else is there to live for? Night life may not be for everybody, and yes – it will get you in the end. But oh, what a way to go.

Camp Candle keep listeners entranced throughout their performance, indulging us with hypnotic synth-born soundscapes and barrages of drum kits that echo and pulse like the clubs they long for. The imagery of the fogged glass is provocative; anyone who’s been out can recognize its tempting charm. Lose yourself in the seductive electronic glow of “Fogged Glass” and escape into the night. Look out for more from the Philadelphia duo coming soon; their EP is out February 2017 via MANIMAL! - Atwood Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Two friends from Philadelphia trek through the crossroads of life with their music and a smile. She is Hetepsa, he is Nu Ra. They are Camp Candle. 

The duo met at W.B Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, a school with a farm, located right in Philly. Throughout the years, the "farm school" became an unusual and often therapeutic outlet away from the decadence that plagues the city streets. Most city folk don't have the opportunity to do something so outside of themselves and their surroundings. Camp Candle wishes to share that feeling  that comes from living beyond the limits of a situation through their music, because not everyone can turn to landscaping and tending to sheep as an outlet.

Camp Candle draws their influences from many places. You can find hints of synth pop, hip hop, indie rock, soul, and many other styles of music. Nu Ra, who does 1/2 of the production starts the instrumentation. When Hetepsa brings her flavor, she moves the music along with her lyrics and voice. When it's all melted together, it can only be described as Camp Candle.

Band Members