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.