Who hasn’t embarked on an outdoor adventure only to learn that the accommodations are a little bit … Icky? Appropriately (and maybe ironically) named Toronto duo The Happy Campers serve up a roaring rock-blues amalgam capturing all the nastiness of a lake cottage gone wrong in their new single, “Icky Cottage Blues.”
Pounding drumbeats, wailing guitars, and a wild, careening rhythm are the backdrop to a tale that starts out, “I knew things were bad/ When I unzipped my bag/ And a spider crawled right inside.” Mice, bats, and rats also have their cameos, as well as a mysteriously sticky carpet and a shower so scuzzy it’s better to bathe in the lake.
Sound familiar? Then you’ll understand the comical lyrics and vibe of this latest single by this husband-and-wife team made up of music veteran Chris Birkett and JUNO Award-nominated video director Joan Prowse.
It’s a scenario the duo knew was relatable. “Each summer, thousands of families head to cottages for some R & R,” they said. “Away from city life, they arrive only to find garbage left behind by previous guests, appliances that don’t work, dead flies and mouse droppings inside cupboards and drawers, and bedrooms and bathrooms that had seen better days.”
The corresponding music video, which features the duo as well as some cute, creative animation, dramatizes the various scenarios in a playful, comical way.
The Happy Campers make use of fun-loving lyrics, pop melodies, and music videos to highlight today’s popular issues. Whether it’s a growing preoccupation with cell phones (“Tweet Me Right”), kids singing about climate change (“Save Our Beautiful World”), or this current single, their fun-loving approach is meant to appeal to a wide audience of listeners.
There will be further editions from this insightful team, like “Medi-go-round,” with the pair singing about the ups and downs of medical advice. But for now, their hope is that this summer “Icky Cottage Blues” becomes a campfire sing-along, summer cottage classic.