Jonah David has been creating and releasing music as Fantasy Camp since 2012, when he
began producing and making beat tapes at age 16 in small-town Pennsylvania. Now based in
Wilkes-Barre, and 10 years older, David has built Fantasy Camp into a gothic dream pop
powerhouse, celebrating his first label release with Casual Intimacy on Memory Music.
The record comprises seven tracks of bedroom-produced, universe-sized dream pop, lo-fi R&B,
indie rock, and electro-pop that document the aftermath of a long-term relationship’s dissolution,
and the complexities of dating outside of the parameters of traditional, long-haul partnership.
Casual Intimacy captured that weirdness.
David grew up in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, and started Fantasy Camp as a faceless project to
put out a massive collection of mixtapes and production work. Over the years, he built up
confidence and desire for a different pace, and by 2018 started adding vocals to his work.
Initially, he would record on his phone’s voice memos function and clean it up on his computer,
but over the years he collected equipment to outfit a basic bedroom studio setup.
Earlier releases played within cloud rap and emo rap, but after hitting a creative wall with the
genres he switched up his approach, leaning toward his love for The Radio Department,
Cocteau Twins, and The Cure. 2021’s Long Way Home introduced this vision, but Casual
Intimacy defines and expands it.
David wrote, recorded, and produced the album entirely in his bedroom in late 2021 over a three
week stretch, and Will Yip mixed and mastered it. David’s decade-plus of home production work
means that Casual Intimacy punches far above its weight for a bedroom project: it flies through
rich, ethereal soundscapes, springboarding listeners from the bedroom into entire sonic worlds.
“Blood Moon” opens the record with a dark, pillowy sway, interpolating steely shoegaze, gauzy
dreampop, and lo-fi chamber pop for an intoxicating, sub-three-minute introduction. Title track
“Casual Intimacy” ramps up the tempo for an inky, star-lit romantic sprint as David flirts on the
chorus: “I’m not taking chances with this one, it’s all romance/I want you to know that we got
somewhere to go.” Later, it collides and calms into a synth-driven, downtempo outro.
The short, nihilistic synth-rock anthemics of “Wakeup!” (“I’m young and dumb and angry and I’m
up to nothing good,” David sings to close the song) give way to the sweet, twee-electro-pop
romance of “Adeline.” Its hyper, drum machine-driven excitement finds David sending a glossy,
harmonized love note to the song’s subject: “Oh Adeline/With the heaviness of everything I hope that you’re alright!”
The stoned, indie-noir piano slink of “Hiraeth” is followed by the upbeat mourning of “Final
Breath,” with a deathbed confessional: “Now that I have only moments left, I can only think of all
the things I wish I would have said/And I am scared to death, but I will tell the world how much I
loved you with my final breath.”
Aptly-named, “The Last Song” closes Casual Intimacy with a gentle, cobwebbed ¾ ballad about
love’s ending: “If our song has to end here, then my love will always be near,” David assures.
Casual Intimacy is out October 28th on Memory Music.