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Hippo Campus

A spirited indie rock quartet based out of the Twin Cities, Hippo Campus deliver angular and melodic guitar-driven pop that falls somewhere between the collegiate Afro-pop/garage rock of Vampire Weekend and the post-punk nerviness of Bombay Bicycle Club. Emerging in 2014 with the EP Bashful Creatures, Hippo Campus released their debut full-length effort, Landmark, in 2017. Just one year later, they returned with their sophomore effort, the eclectic and more electronics-driven Bambi. Following 2021's Good Dog, Bad Dream EP, the band brought all of their ebullient and experimental pop influences to bear on their third full-length, LP3, and subsequent 2023 EP Wasteland. The group formed in 2013, made up of frontman Jake Luppen, co-frontman/guitarist Nathan Stocker, bassist Zach Sutton, and drummer Whistler Allen (on-stage the band use the code names Stitches, Beans, Espo, and Turntan), all of whom met in high school in St. Paul. Hippo Campus wasted little time infiltrating the local scene, with their high-energy live sets eventually attracting the attention of the management team behind fellow Minnesotans Trampled by Turtles and Low. Hippo Campus landed a slot at South by Southwest and made an appearance on Conan ahead of their 2014 debut EP, Bashful Creatures, which was produced by Low's Alan Sparhawk. The following year saw them ink a deal with Universal, and the label soon released The Halocline EPs, which repackaged Bashful Creatures and another EP, South, on one disc. In March 2017, Hippo Campus released their long-awaited full-length debut, Landmark, which reached number 15 on Billboard's Top Alternative Albums chart. Their sophomore full-length, Bambi, arrived the following year and found the group adopting a more electronic sound. Buoyed by the singles "Passenger" and "Golden," it also performed well, reaching 14 on the Independent Albums chart. The two-part Demos collection appeared in 2019, compiling a mix of alternate takes and previously unissued tracks written and recorded over the summer of 2017 and the winter of 2018. Now operating out of their own studio in Minneapolis, the band issued the EP Good Dog, Bad Dream in 2021. A year later, they delivered their third full-length, the aptly titled LP3, an even more sonically vibrant production that included the single "Boys." The critical success of the album significantly boosted their exposure, and Hippo Campus followed it in April 2023 with the EP Wasteland.
© James Christopher Monger /TiVo

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