October 8, 2020

Lupin celebrates release of debut album with music video for “KO Kid”

Today, our very own Jake Luppen celebrates the release of his debut solo album, Lupin. We’ve known Jake for years, and we’ve had plenty of opportunities to beam with pride as he’s grown into one of the most impressive songwriters and musicians we know. But today we beam the brightest. Lupin is a fully actualized vision, an exploration of ideas that sound both at home and totally foreign to the worlds of Hippo Campus and Baby Boys. It’s part futuristic funk-infused R&B, part maximalist mutant pop, part art-damaged indie rock. 


Earlier this week, Jake offered up KO Kid,” a sonic fever dream bolstered by a thunderously sluggish beat and Luppen’s trademark falsetto, coyly dipping in and out of the proceedings. Like the rest of the album, the production here from longtime Luppen collaborator BJ Burton somehow manages to be both understated and bold, replete with keys from Frank Ocean keyboardist Buddy Ross and drums from JT Bates, whose most recent credit includes the new Taylor Swift album. The song is accompanied by a fittingly surreal claymation acid trip, embedded above, that perfectly conveys the anxious energy of the song, directed by Karla Mellett. Of the song, Luppen explains:

“I had the KO Kid guitar progression for a long time before I eventually worked it into a finished track. I was having a really difficult time trying to write a melody over it, so one day I decided to just improvise the vocals for the verses, which is why the melody feels more off the cuff than the other songs. The lyrics allude to the night I told my girlfriend at the time about my attraction to a non-binary friend. I’ve spent most of my life repressing my attraction to people that didn’t identify as women, so I wrote the idea of the KO KID-character as a way to fight those inhibitive and self-imposed judgments.” 

Written mainly in breaks during a sprawl of 112 shows for Hippo Campus’ Bambi from 2018-2019, Lupin was an unexpected path to confidence. It also offered an escape from the grind of endless touring and a way for Luppen to process major and stressful life events directly through songwriting. Like “Vampire,” which, despite its lilting undulating synths, was written by Luppen after a CT scan revealed an abnormal mass on his brain, leaving him under the impression he was dying. Or “Lazy,” one of the first major break-throughs of the record, which deals with depression destroying self-image and struggling to build a new support system in the wake of a break-up. It’s a record that opens up both lyrically and musically and reaps the benefits of that candor over and over.

Get your copy in our shop now or wherever you stream music.


September 16, 2020

Lupin drops double single/video for “Vampire / Murderer”

Although Jake Luppen rose to prominence as a vocalist and guitarist in our very own Hippo Campus, the songs of his debut solo album Lupin feel like meeting him for the first time. Today he proves that with two brand new songs and videos — both directed by frequent Bon Iver collaborator Aaron Anderson — giving fans a more in-depth look at the complexities of his debut album. Both tracks deal with some heavy emotional liftings and reveal a new depth to Luppen not only as a musician but a songwriter. 

“Vampire” touches on Jake’s surreal experience when he was told about a lump in his brain. “I was fully under the impression that I was dying when I wrote this – I had gotten a CT scan a couple weeks before that revealed a mass in my brain, which led me to believe that I had brain cancer or some form of parkinsons.”

While “Murder” deals with death of a different kind, the painful ending of a longterm relationship and part of the moving on process. “I had been living alone in a house that I used to share with my ex, so the lyrics were inspired by all of the things she left behind. One day I literally packed everything that reminded me of our relationship into boxes and shoved them in my closet. It felt like a funeral.” 

The two new tracks come off the back of the previously released “May”. The song is a funk-driven, colossal pop gem with crashing drums that digs even deeper into Luppen’s well-documented pop sensibilities and is perfectly complimented by producer BJ Burton’s (Bon Iver, Low, Charli XCX) own sonic palette. 

You can pre-order the album over in our shop now.


August 11, 2020

Jake Luppen unveils new solo project Lupin with kaleidoscopic pop song “May”

Finally! The debut solo album from Jake Luppen – yes, our very own Baby Boys & Hippo Campus Jake Luppen – is upon us. The project & the record are both called Lupin. The first single, “May,” is out today alongside a music video directed by the incredibly talented Adam Fuchs, who you might know from his work at Adult Swim. You can catch it above. 

 “I had been clinging to the past in my relationship at the time, grappling with the realization that our young expectations of what our future should look like might not actually work out,” says Jake, explaining the song. “Or rather shouldn’t work out. This song focuses on coming to terms with that.”

The album is coming October 9th. And, friends, this is a truly inspired record, filled with songs of self-doubt, self-discovery and genuinely some of the coolest sounds we’ve ever heard — we didn’t even know gothic funk could be a thing until we heard these demos. Lupin was produced by Jake & longtime collaborator BJ Burton, who you’ll recognize for his work on the past two Hippo Campus albums, but also the new Charli XCX, Low, and more. Art for this one is courtesy of the very talented David Kramer with photos from friends old and new, namely Brit O’Brien and Graham Tolbert, like the one below.

You can pre-order a 12” now in a limited first pressing on red vinyl over in the GJ shop, or get a copy on white vinyl exclusively at Minneapolis indie retailers like Electric Fetus & Down In The Valley. Both runs are limited to 300 pieces.