REVIEW // Hippo Campus // South

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When I looked Hippo Campus up I was floored to see that they look like they’re in their teenage years. How can that well-developed sound come out of someone who looks so young? Their music certainly speaks years older.

Like so many bands for me, it’s the vocals that really takes a piece of music from good to great. Jake Luppin has honed a Ezra Koenig-esque quality to his singing. Layered against what can be a generic backdrop of charming no-nonsense guitars, it stands out a little from the crowd. And they’re standing out in the crowd this year on the festival circuit too, drawing eyes at SXSW, Lollapalooza, Reading and Leads, and even Conan.

This song is best described as ‘rolicking’. The lyrics are entirely relatable – if I could count the number of times that my mum has told me to “stand up straight” in my lifetime, it’s seared into my own hippocampus. It’s got that country/folk music sensibility and even those themes of growing up so often heard in this genre. And it is a little different to the bulk of their catalogue which has a more Afro-beat Vampire Weekend emulation – like the Last Dinosaurs of the US.

You hear a lot of artists in the US coming out of the typically musically-renowned areas such as Portland, Brooklyn and Austin. Not a lot from Minnesota though. It is exciting to start seeing that diversity come through geographically. And it’s heartening to know that little musical communities are kind of everywhere.

THE BREAKDOWN:
Hometown: St. Paul, US.
Recent EP: South, out 2 October 2015.
Sounds like: I 100% thought this was Catfish and the Bottlemen on first listen.
Say what? The boys all met at a high school called St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. Why couldn’t I have studied music all day long at high school?

Exclusively hand-picked just for you, by Jane.  

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