Artist: Hippo Campus
Album: Bashful Creatures – EP
Release Date: 18 November 2014
Reviewer: Mitch Kampf
Review Date: 14 November 2014
The first release from Minneapolis indie band Hippo Campus is truly a remarkable first effort for the group of young musicians. Having played together for only a year, the Bashful Creatures EP features five new tracks in addition to their single “Little Grace” which has been gracing the airwaves the past few months. The most drawing aspect of Hippo Campus’ music, however, is how comfortable it feels. The music and lyricism is light and welcoming. All six tracks off of Bashful Creatures are fresh, while also giving off a sense of fond familiarity. Every melody is clear and crisp, especially the light and succinct plucking style of lead guitarist Nathan Stocker combined with the talents of lead singer Jake Luppen who performs such satisfying voice acrobatics in tracks like “Sophie So” and “Bashful Creatures” that you crave to see what limits the band can stretch themselves to in future releases.
Starting out at the University of Minnesota, the group has built up a following within the Twin Cities community playing shows at the 7th Street Entry and various other venues. Each of the six tracks off of Bashful Creatures could be considered singles in their own right, a testament to the time the group has devoted to writing and producing their music–fine tuning a clear, crisp sound that both fulfills and leaves you asking for more at the end of the six tracks.
After listening to Bashful Creatures, it’s no wonder why City Pages named Hippo Campus one of their best new bands in 2014. The group’s musical talent is mature beyond their years for the amount of time they have been playing together. If Bashful Creatures is any indication of what to expect in the future from Hippo Campus, we can all look forward to the wonderful, playful music the group will bring in future releases. The Bashful Creatures EP will be released on Nov. 18 and Hippo Campus will be playing a sold out release show at 7th Street Entry on Saturday Nov. 29.