Treading that oh-so-fine line between camp and earnestness, “Add As Friend” is a melodramatic, irresistible slice of neo-New Romantic synth pop, complete with a crooning baritone, goofy synthesizer sounds, and an anthemic dance-floor melody. We know we’re in good hands when the intro builds rapidly from a bell-like synthesizer line through a pulsating (and smile-inducing) middle section into full-fledged melodic glory by 0:28—a simple, beautifully crafted instrumental theme that serves as the ongoing heart of the song. I find a song with a wordless hook difficult to get out of my head.
But make no mistake about the camp here. One giveaway is the overtly humorous synthesizer lines which pop up throughout the song—most noticeably at 0:22, 1:26. 2:44, and 3:12, if you’re keeping score at home. At its heart, camp is a joke—even if, often, a serious joke—so humor is always near the surface. Another is the song’s Erasure-esque vibe, and Erasure was nothing if not the camp champion of the New Romantic movement. But as Erasure themselves proved, a camp act can still create really good music. Jupe Jupe has hereby joined the club.
A foursome from Seattle, Jupe Jupe self-released their debut album, Invaders, this week. That’s where you’ll find “Add As Friend.”