A new era dawns on Wasteland. There’s country twang atop vintage guitar pop and plenty of cathartic rock moments to go around on this new Hippo Campus EP. If the past few releases from the Minneapolis indie rebels have pushed the experimentation envelope, this one feels like a self-assured return to early days form. It’s everywhere you listen to music now.
And we heard y’all loud and clear – *where’s the vinyl?* So we’ve got a limited edition 12″ pressed on Wasteland Smoke available for pre-order right now on Bandcamp. Shipping in late August.
Meanwhile, tour approaches. Get your tickets now while you still can. Lots of dates are already sold out. Get your tickets over in the tour section now.
When Hippo Campus returned last month with “Kick In The Teeth,” from their forthcoming Wasteland EP due in April, the twang caught a few folks by surprise. The band’s cowboy era continues on new single “Yippie Ki Yay,” less indebted to folk & country songwriting than the tune that preceeded it and more a return to the cathartic roots of their early material.
The single is accompanied by a vivid, stop-motion style visualizer directed by Julian Gross. Of the release, Hippo Campus says, “we initially started writing this song 6 years ago. it’s a story within a story. the narrative follows a character who has been outlawed but zooms out in each chorus to the perspective of the characters writing the story. it deals with “giddying up” in the sense that we gotta keep on keeping on despite not knowing what the fuck we’re doing a lot of the time.
imposter syndrome. the etymology of the word “yippie” is not commonly agreed upon, but in the 1936 song “I’m an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)” written by Johnny Mercer about a changing landscape of the traditional cowboy portrait, the lyrics seem applicable to our current state of affairs, perhaps the human condition; the constant observation and resistance to social change. the ugly reflection of a faux cowboy not knowing how to actually, really, truly rope a steer.”
Hippo will be heading out on the road later this year. Tickets in the tour section.
Hippo Campus return today with “Kick In The Teeth,” the first new music since last year’s LP3. It comes from a new digital-only EP titled Wasteland, set for release on April 14th. The comeback single plants a stylistic flag for the band: there’s a noticably more freewheeling, twangier edge to the sound and a startlingly straight forward approach to the songwriting. Cowboy era? Maybe? The five song EP comes paired with beautiful creative from Julian Gross, who directed the video above and the art for the project, both horse-forward affairs befitting of this dustier sound. Tracklist and pre-save link below.
02 Yippie Kai Yay
05 Kick In The Teeth Pre-Save Now
The EP arrives only a few short weeks before the band embarks on a headline tour of some of the biggest venues they’ve ever graced. The iconic Red Rocks is already sold out. The brand new Salt Shed in Chicago is too. Tickets are going fast, so grab them while you still can here.
Hippo Campus don’t stop. They can’t. They just wrapped the second leg of their LP3 tour last month, and they’re back this morning announcing a full slate of BIG shows in spring 2023. Expanding on the already-announced Red Rocks show that went up last month, these shows will be on sale this Friday at 11am local.
LP3 arrives today, and to put it plainly: it’s just the best thing Hippo Campus has ever done.
The album was heralded earlier this week by one last teaser from the album. “Bang Bang” has been a fan-favorite since the band started playing it during streams in 2020. Listen to it and it’s obvious why.
On the track, Hippo’s Jake Luppen says,“I was in a long-distance relationship for a long time and I knew that it wasn’t working. But instead of us talking about it, we ignored it. It was a situation where our attraction to each other caused us to neglect all the very logical issues that were at hand.”
In explaining his vision for the video, Turczan says, “The goal for this project was to create an abstract visual language that synchronized with the energy of this song. My inspiration pulls heavily from the pioneers of visual music in animation, namely artists like Oskar Fischinger and Len Lye. It was also a nice challenge to incorporate the feel of the album artwork into this piece so that everything exists as a ben-day halftone pattern on newsprint.”
“Bang Bang” follows the band’s charismatic late-night rendition of “Ride or Die” on The Late Late Show with James Corden, which Corden deemed “brilliant.” Check it out below.
Yesterday, Hippo Campus released their new single, “Ride or Die,” along with its looping Joe Pease-directed music video. To celebrate the release the band also surprise-delivered free flexi discs to their friends at indie record shops. That’s right, 1,000 limited edition flexi discs featuring the single have been scattered all over the globe at record stores in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand & Japan. They’re free and available while supplies last.
(UPDATE 7PM JAN 10TH: SHIPPING DELAY: Some packages of free ‘Ride or Die’ flexi discs meant to arrive by this morning have run into shipping issues in the US & New Zealand. Several retailers are still waiting on their copies, but all are in transit. We are so sorry for the inconvenience!)
Today, Hippo Campus announce the release of their third studio album, LP3, coming Feb 4 2022. It’s accompanied by the enthralling lead single “Boys,” a song about the romantic nature of memorializing one’s own ephemerality. And hangovers. The announcement follows August’s Good Dog, Bad Dream EP – a five-track live wire of indie pop tinged with confessions of dark humor. If GD,BD heralded a moment of madcap experimentation, LP3 is where the band synthesize that energy into a sound they’ve been working to perfect since 2015, making way for a brand new era of their music.
Of the first LP3 single, lead singer and guitarist Jake Luppen says, “To me, ‘Boys’ is bottoming out, sort of reaching your lowest point mentally. And because you’re there, you assess everything around you, and then become a better person…It’s like that feeling when you’re drunk and then you wake up hungover and you hate yourself.” The video was shot, directed and edited by the band’s own Whistler Isaiah, and features a a revolving direct-to-camera montage of one night’s exploits.
LP3 will arrive in several limited edition pressings of vinyl, and on CD & cassette. Artwork was handled by the band’s longtime visual collaborator David Kramer and Eliot Larson. The webstore & Bandcamp exclusive version is pressed on 180g Translucent Purple Swirl vinyl, featuring deluxe edition artwork, wide spine jacket on uncoated stock with a die-cut center hole, revealing the vinyl labels from the outside of the package. It includes a 36×24 fold-out poster. All packaged in a poly bag. Additional limited edition color variants are available at your local record shop, Rough Trade (both US & UK!), Minneapolis retailers like Electric Fetus & Down in the Valley, and Vinyl Me Please (whose pre-order will launch tomorrow!).
The band also just announced their first International Tour Dates since 2019, hitting Glasgow, Manchester, London, Antwerp, Cologne and Amsterdam the week of the album’s release. They’ll be on sale Friday. Check all their dates, including the massive US tour announced earlier this year, over on their artist page.
Today Hippo Campus released “Sex Tape,” the second look at their new EP Good Dog, Bad Dream, which arrives on all formats this Friday. The video plays like a YouTube wormhole gleefully colliding with the Photoshop history of Hippo’s graphic designer – elements from the EP & single artwork are interspersed with shots of the band and grainy, glitchy collage. The song is the warmest moment from GDBD, an ode to Minnesota summers and the surprisingly divergent paths similar people find themselves on as life progresses.
In other Hippo news, the band also announced US tour dates. Lots and lots of tour dates. You can get tickets over on the Hippo artist page, and check out the full run listed below.
Finally, this morning the band was announced as a performer at “Water Is Life: Stop Line 3,” a music, art and cultural festival August 18, 2021, at Bayfront Park in Duluth, Minnesota. Featuring a coalition of musicians, artists, poets and Indigenous leaders, the one-day festival is a celebration of water as the fundamental life-giving resource of Mother Earth, and a full-throttle resistance in music and song against the Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline currently snaking its way through the waterways and Anishinaabe lands of northern Minnesota. Find out more and how to support here.
No, your eyes do not deceive you. This is real, actual, new Hippo Campus. It has been ages since the release of 2018’s Bambi. The world has changed two or three times over since Demos I & II arrived in 2019. Unsurprisingly, Hippo Campus has changed with it. Good Dog, Bad Dream — coming August 6th — is a bold new EP that pushes the boundaries of what the Minneapolis indie pop group has been working on since forming back in 2013.
Of course, for fans who have been along for the journey, the progression might not be all that shocking. The lithe guitar pop of early releases like Bashful Creatures gave way to a more intricate songwriting approach on Landmark, which later ceded ground to electronics and experimentation on Bambi. But Good Dod, Bad Dream is a different animal entirely: a live wire of five occasionally absurd, weirdly heartfelt songs that routinely rival even the most high energy entries in the band’s repertoire.
Lead single “Bad Dream Baby” manages to string together Jake’s references to Britney Spears, mormonism and a dying dog on top of Nathan’s rock candy guitars and Whistler’s propulsive drumming. It’s a fitting lead single for the EP, heralded by the David Kramer directed video above – a visual triptych of interlaced performance, each a distilled kind of energy that’s always been present in the band.
The unadorned approach to the video also extends to the art. It’s Hippo’s most stark presentation yet, playing with a mostly gray palate splashed with pops of color and whimsy. The 12″ is a beautiful package – a 180g piece of vinyl with a B-side etching, all tucked in a wide spin, uncoated jacket, with 3 12×12 inserts and a printed inner sleeve. There are a bunch of color options available, following the red, yellow & white lead of the artwork. Details on each, and where you can find them, below.
Hippo Campus released Demos I & II earlier this summer. The twin digital collections featured early iterations of songs that would wind up on Bambi (that’s Demos I), and a handful of songs that were recorded in and around the sessions for their most recent album (that’s Demos II). As part of Record Store Day’s annual Black Friday event on November 29th, the band will be releasing the songs on limited-edition vinyl for the very first time. The double LP is pressed on opaque white 180g vinyl. It comes in a matte-finish gatefold jacket, with printed sleeves, all packaged inside a custom polybag. It’s very pretty.
The only place to get it will be your local record store. So be sure to let them know you want a copy waiting for you on November 29th. Find your nearest participating store here. And in the meantime, listen to the full collection over on the band’s Spotify playlist.