By: Maddelynne Parker
A band’s sophomore album is one of the most important records it will release in its career. This album will either show a band’s potential to stick to one sound, or show that a band can build on their own style and experiment with others. Hippo Campus has successfully fulfilled the latter.
Hippo Campus released its sophomore album “Bambi” September 28, only a little over a year after its debut album “Landmark.” Its deep, melodic ambience is sure to please any fan’s indie heart with an added touch of experimentalism. The album embodies exactly what Hippo Campus is, while discovering new depths to its sound.
In its 10 track listing, “Anxious” is one that stands out. The song begins with a light synthesizer-made beat and Jake Luppen’s, lead vocalist and guitarist, recognizable lyrics. As it progresses, the beat personifies a sense of anxiety, while including a heartbeat that comes and goes. “Anxious” is actually mellow and calming with one of the most catchy, pop-like hooks the band has created.
Along with “Anxious” is the title track “Bambi,” which continues to exemplify the creativity Hippo Campus embraced when making this album. The track relies heavily on the synthesizer and Luppen’s vocals, which follow the upbeat tempo of the chorus. It’s a great break from the usual indie rock Hippo Campus is known for and shows us where exactly the band may be headed on their next album.
“Why Even Try” is catchy and stays true to the “Landmark” Hippo Campus. Your ears are blessed with instrumentals that weave and bleed into one another to create one symbiotic sound. Without one band member, the song would lose its charisma. Luppen’s voice stands separate from the instruments when it needs to and then fades into them to create an even deeper ambiance. This track will give older fans exactly what they want from the album.
“Passenger” — the longest and final song of the album — was the first single track to be released and lasts almost six minutes. It’s slow-tempoed, calming and relaxing — perfect to listen to while walking in the rain. “Passenger” ends with a two minute long instrumental that sounds almost like a rainforest set in dark spiritual film, which this indie band has no fear of embracing.
Hippo Campus has truly taken indie music to a new level. Not only does it continue to experiment with new sounds while taking into account their own style, but it does so in a way that never bores. It follows its desire for dark, mellow instrumentals, while also creating upbeat tracks to keep “Bambi” from depressing any listener.
xX Long live college radio Xx