Heading back to the ABC Sydney studios last week for the first time since 2016 – when they covered ‘Maps’ by Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Camp Cope’s Like A Version cover of ‘Seventeen Going Under’ by Sam Fender is now live on DSPs.
Sam Fender’s ‘Seventeen Going Under’ has made a huge impact all over the world, an emphatic, soaring guitar song that collates the struggles of unemployed life, but also the daftness of age where you otherwise have little to fear and the world at your feet. Camp Cope first connected with it because Sam Fender’s story echoed that of bassist Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich’s experience growing up in Western Sydney.
As Kelly explains in the Behind Like A Version video, “When I first heard this song it really resonated with me, growing up and living still in Western Sydney, because this is a song that’s about growing up poor and then wanting to experience life as a child but then that being your home life,” she says. “So kind of wanting to go out and experience the world but then the world being a very hard place to navigate as well. And then when I brought it to the band, I knew that they could relate to it in a lot of ways too because it touches on themes about toxic masculinity and boys’ clubs which we’ve done before with our own music.”
The lyric “I was far too scared to hit him, but I’d hit him in a heartbeat now” went viral on TikTok with women using the soundbed to share their experiences of gendered violence, a trend which vocalist and guitarist Georgia Maq shared her own story to early on. This was the driving force for the cover, with subtle lyric changes to echo her own experiences, turning it “from a song about growing up in the UK as a man to a song about growing up in Australia as a woman” (Stereogum). The cover was written and performed in true Camp Cope fashion, with Georgia Maq’s energetic and determined vocals driving over winding lead bass lines, drums and piano by Camp Cope’s new live member Jennifer Aslett.
‘Seventeen Going Under’ by Sam Fender is taken from his album of the same name, out now on Dew Process (AU/NZ), Polydor (UK) and Interscope (US)