They say it’s all in the name, an adage that Chicago-based indie outfit Campfires seems to have taken to heart. Their debut full-length album, Tomorrow, Tomorrow, with its self-tagged lo-fi noise-pop billing, screams rusticity with every note and flickers as warm and balmy as the namesake of the band who created it.
The album’s sound is fairly consistent — something that band member Jeff Walls readily owns up to as a deliberate move, describing the album as having a new kind of cohesion. Each track on the album is tied together in the same fashion, featuring a backbone of peppy percussion and light, twangy guitars overlaid with sharp, squeaking riffs. They come together with vocals that are uninvolved and understated — there is a definite sense of distance, as carefree “la la las” fade out until they are barely audible and lyrics are, at times, indiscernible as simple melodies overpower them completely. The whole thing in general has a very home-grown feel, as if it has been recorded on subpar equipment and slapped together in someone’s basement — but the band pulls it off almost by virtue of their name alone.
The resulting album is quite charming and homely. Even more impressive is the fact that, despite its simplicity, despite the fact that it is not particularly complex in its structure or varied in its instrumentals, nor is it heartbreaking in its lyricism, Tomorrow, Tomorrow is still far from boring. There is something about the throwback to rusticity that seems to be near infallible when it comes to music. Unpolished and imperfect, Tomorrow, Tomorrow seems above all ready for an adventure. It comes off as the perfect soundtrack to a lazy summer evening or a long drive through an expanse of unremarkable scenery — in other words, it’s music for the outdoors.