By Kyran Nerland, Ana Gomez, and Yasmin Ettobi
The Minnesota favorites are back sooner than expected. Even though their debut album came out this February, Hippo Campus returned recently with a three track EP, Warm Glow. The release is both reminiscent of earlier music and prophetic of a future style previously foreign to the band’s work. A few contributors and fans of the band gave us a closer look into each individual track.
“Baseball” is the first song off Minnesota-based indie band Hippo Campus’ new EP “Warm Glow,” released September 12th. Hippo Campus’ debut album, released this year and titled “Landmark,” gave off immediate summer vibes, the feeling of warm air flowing through your hair on a summer night. “Baseball” is no different. Hippo Campus has been performing “baseball” live since near the beginning of the band’s performing career, so the track isn’t foreign to fans. Followers of the band have been praying for a studio version of the album since the first iPhone video was posted on youtube, and they were not disappointed with the result. The energy this song brings to the stage was not left behind in the recorded version. You jump right into the song as the happy, warm, summery guitar plays along to the quick tempo of the drums. Not only do the instrumentals drown you in summer vibes, but the song’s lyrics match the feeling. The first verse reminisces of a scene where love is found. It presents the story of the writer’s summer of meeting new friends, commenting on the ease of the time. The pre-chorus is beautifully written; the simplistic genius of the lyrics coupled with the dialed-back instrumentals creates a stunning effect. Hippo Campus captures the feeling of summer perfectly, a fitting farewell as the season comes to a close.
Although the entire warm glow EP is a treat, Traveler seems to be an even bigger treat in itself. Having been played at several new shows, this track has had the fandom buzzing nonstop, and now we all understand why.
Transitioning from the catchy opening track, Traveler bursts out with Hippo Campus’ classic, signature grooves – the ones that keep them at the peak of the indie world. What makes the band truly stand out, however, is that these unforgettable beats are never the only thing they present. Traveler is yet another example of Hippo’s talent for cleverly poetic lyrics, telling a vivid story while at the same time presenting vague, yet beautiful lines that can be related to widely. Traveler, expertly placed between two other songs that we won’t be able to get out of our heads anytime soon, only proves that Hippo Campus are every bit deserving of the hype.
We’ve known that Hippo Campus is more than capable of writing upbeat and plucky tunes since the days of “Little Grace” and “Suicide Saturday,” but the Minnesotan quartet just proved themselves to be incredible at creating slower cuts. Following in the footsteps of their unforgettable track “Poems,” Hippo Campus displays a deeper and more emotional side to themselves on warm glow, the third song off their mini-release EP.
“warm glow” begins with a soft, brooding guitar riff, which immediately sets a serene tone for the rest of the track. Lead singer Jake Luppen’s falsetto pierces through the guitar highlighting both the impressive vocal ability Luppen possesses and Hippo Campus’ poetic, descriptive writing style.
A couple of minutes into the song, guitarist Nathan Stocker joins forces with Luppen to take on the repetitive chorus. The simplicity of the lyrics declaring that everything will be alright heightens the sentimental atmosphere of the track, and when the chorus and verses blend together seamlessly at the end of the song, tears are bound to form.