Amelia Whyman chats to Campsie about her debut single, I’m Gone
Campsie’s ‘I’m Gone’ is the anti-teenage anthem. Written in the midst of a 17 year old haze of going out, discovering indie music and falling in love, it would be fair to assume that this exuberant pop anthem would be sugary sweet. But it’s not. It’s an exploration of anxiety, and the impact it can have on a teenager still navigating the world. According to Campsie, “It was a crazy period in my life. But still so exciting”.
“I’m Gone was me figuring out as much as I could,” Campsie says as she sits down to explain the origins of the track. “It was the first song that I really thought: this sounds like me.” And this couldn’t be truer. I’m Gone is extremely honest about anxiety, not sugarcoating the experience, but instead taking ownership of it. The lyric “I dry heave on the pavement” is a raw and uncomfortable description of a panic attack, and far from romantic. “A lot of people have responded to it because it’s real”, she says. “It’s great, because if you’re affected by a song lyrically its because you’ve said something that’s really connected with somebody.”
This ‘realness’ comes from a song written four years ago and re-crafted for her debut. Campsie, now 23, described the experience of revisiting it as “reading an old diary.” Looking back at this song involved looking back at herself, and closing the distance four years can create. Campsie is extremely proud of I’m Gone, and deservedly so. “When I first got mixes back, I was driving to work and put the mix on. I just (happy) screamed at the top of my lungs.” Her joy at finally finding the song she knew she wanted to release first is infectious. The song is empowering, uplifting, and guaranteed to make you want to dance. Despite its difficult subject matter, the song meets the balance between its raw lyrics and obvious indie-pop hit potential perfectly.
Campsie describes I’m Gone, jokingly, as ‘sad maracas.’ “I used to say it in the studio. It means a song you can imagine yourself dancing around shaking maracas to but also crying at the same time”. She is being lighthearted, but it’s a self-aware look at a song that can make you bop your head and emotionally move you to in equal parts. The reverbed, looped ‘ahhs’, juxtaposed with an indie-rock electric guitar and drums, reflects the contrast between Connie’s voice and the music. Her delivery of heartbreaking lyrics is soft, calm, and perfectly melodic. This matched with a bassy beat makes for a unique song you just keep coming back to. Think the sultry vocals of an artist like King Princess with a The 1975 style twist.
Campsie was born into the world of songwriting. With both her parent’s highly successful songwriters, she grew up listening to “just really good songs”. “I only sat down to properly listen to a full album at age 17”, she says, “I always found that the value of a song, for me, can be so much greater than an album”. She aims to keep releasing singles, and eventually put together an EP. “I have three other songs recorded I love as much as I’m Gone, but I want to make sure each song has its own identity”. Her aim to give each song “respect” and “room to breathe,” shows the passion and love she has for her craft.
When asked about the future, Campsie is determined, independent, and ‘obsessed’ with the idea she only has herself to contend with. “I think to myself: ‘if I don’t do anything today, nothing will get done’. I’m just figuring out how to do it on my own.” She self-produced the lyric video to ‘I’m Gone’, and is in the process of directing her new music video, as well as promoting her song on social media and beyond. It’s a busy time, but Campsie knows exactly what she wants. “My inner voice is so much stronger when it’s me in the room, and I think to myself ‘what do I really want to do?'” Campsie wants to keep releasing songs she cares deeply about, and now she’s started, nobody is going to stop her.
Stream I’m Gone on Spotify now.
Words by Amelia Whyman