Last Friday, GMAT favorite Hippo Campus dropped their sophomore LP in Bambi. The Minnesota-based group took to Twitter to explain their inspirations for the record; "In the beginning of the recording process for bambi, our producer BJ Burton asked us if we wanted to make another "hippo campus" album or if we wanted to make an album as "four individuals under the name hippo campus". We unanimously agreed to take the latter approach. This album became an experiment for us on how to be heard as four individuals within a group. We untied ourselves from the roles and instruments and chose to create with whatever spoke to us in that moment."
They continued by saying "The idea of that moment is what Bambi is all about. It's the first record we've written about the present. The present that brings the questions we ask ourselves in the midst of change and growth. Love and fear. We forced ourselves to be vulnerable answering these questions. Embracing fully the change that we FEEL. Even if that feeling is confusing or challenging."
Bambi is a truly special record- we asked some of our staff to reflect on the record and choose and explain a favorite track of theirs;
Livie: Mistakes- The slow and calm beauty backing behind (lead singer) Jake Luppen’s warm vocals contrast so well with the rest of the album. It gives a good start to the hopscotch that followed. It’s the calm before a glorious storm.
Devon: Doubt- The song is upbeat but you can listen to it in any mood. It starts off poppy and slowly fades into a very chill vibe but goes right back to the poppy sound. It has a mellow beat but the guitar and drums make it energetic. I love the opening lyrics, "Good god, it's a toss up So sweet but she's a little fucked up". Those lyrics are very relatable and real. The song talks about this girl who is a little bit of trouble but he loves her and I feel like starting the song with those lyrics makes that click in your mind instantly. I would definitely recommend that you give this song a listen.
Sophie: Why Even Try?- I like it because it is the most stripped down of all the songs. It has the least amount of auto-tune and more natural vocals than any other song off the album. It is genuinely a beautiful song and I think the only song I can really appreciate off this new work! I can tell this was all a passion project but this song seems to have the least amount of attention paid to it which is why it’s so good! Sometimes less is more, and in this case it really works to Hippo Campus’ benefit.
Ryan: Honestly- I really enjoy the mistake in the beginning of the song. I know that sounds odd, but I was delighted to learn that wasn't intentional. It was nice to have a human element in that we all make mistakes, even great musicians. Of course, I love the chill vibe of the song too. You get lost so much in the music that you kind of forget it's not necessarily the happiest song.
Kastania: Golden- I can already hear 'Golden' being performed live and making the crowd get a little dancy with it. I'm completely obsessed with the upbeat indie pop tempo of the song itself despite it's 30 second slow roll intro. It is so catchy and feels a bit nostalgic of a summer time anthem melody. 'Golden' is a a great song to add to the list of discography hits from the guys of Hippo Campus. This definitely sounds like a graduated song from the previous album 'Landmark' as they really hone in on a consistent sound that their fans can rely on. It's as if the bands Finish Ticket and COIN had a a hand in influencing this beat that I just can't get enough of. seriously... obsessed. TOO MUCH?!
Maria: Bambi- This track just perfectly encompasses the album. The group has truly stepped out of the box and their musical comfort zone and this sophomore record is the perfect contrast to 2016's "Landmark"- I personally find relation between this track lyrically and myself- especially the bridge when Luppen repeats "I'll be making my own way now to where I've got to be." I can connect with the emotion this song was written from and this can also carry over to a number of songs. The chill synth in this song is infectious and creates a perfect backdrop for the story told.
Hippo Campus kicks off their fall tour with The Districts tonight in Milwaukee- be sure to check out "Bambi" and catch them in a city near you!