Minnesota band dives headfirst into new sound

Sophomore album brings Hippo Campus to new level

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Minnesota band dives headfirst into new sound

Fair use from Transgressive Records.

Fair use from Transgressive Records.

Fair use from Transgressive Records.

Fair use from Transgressive Records.

Jenna Cook

With the release of second studio album “Bambi,” Minnesota-based boyband Hippo Campus has diverged from their classic two guitars, one bass and drum kit sound. With the introduction of synths and other electronic sounds, the band has reinvented their sound while maintaining their style.

The album opens with “Mistakes,” a symphonic and musically cohesive work of art. The electronic instrumental build up in the first 10 seconds of the song, ultimately leading to a beautiful dreamlike harmony. The track makes for a great opener, allowing listeners to get their feet wet with an emotional and immersive bass-heavy song with some trumpet riffs in the last few bars that serve as the cherry on top.

The rest of the album provides a refreshingly new sound for the Minnesotan boyband, incorporating electronic and flowy sounds not often used in previous songs. For example, “Anxious” gives off an almost robotic vibe at the beginning and maintains a common rhythm throughout the song, suggesting a heartbeat.

“Bubbles” was one of the songs that rubbed me the wrong way. At first, it builds into a cute summery tune, but turns into a mess of sound without warning, making me jump every time I hear it. Overall, this song provides too much stimulation for a band known for their chill bops.

“Why Even Try” included acoustic guitar, something not often heard from the band, and offered a unique sound. Similarly, “Think It Over” kicked off with classical piano, incorporating low-fi nostalgic beats, a theme present in many other songs on the album.

A highlight was definitely the title track, “Bambi.” Released as a single before the album, I was able to get my fill of this song long before I heard the rest of the album. It showcases a perfect blend between where the band is going and where they have been, with meaningful lyrics and a catchy rhythm.

With the release of “Bambi,” Hippo Campus has evolved its sound into something new and refreshing but still familiar. Like nothing I’ve ever heard before, “Bambi” has made it stand out in more ways than one. Although some of the tracks are hard to listen to, the boyband always reels listeners back with nostalgic lyrics and interesting underlying production.

“Bambi:”★★★☆☆

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