Label: Grand Jury
Released: 4th February 2022
Although the transformation observed across their past work documents Hippo Campus’ journey of growing up and finding themselves, ‘LP3’ is the most fully realised and contemplative version of the band yet, a peak achieved via a tender stroll through their own wonders and concerns.
Elaborate trains of thought are translated into consumable bops on this much-anticipated follow-up to 2018’s ‘Bambi’, and it combines the insecurities of its predecessor with the guilt-free excitement of full-length debut ‘Landmark’ to find true acceptance, discovering a new identity somewhere in the middle. Shame, joy, bravery and fear are all carefully examined under a harsh lyrical spotlight that openly crucifies an entire mind of inner thoughts in order to find comfort in the present.
Sonically, these ten tracks are informed by a flurry of recent experiments; with band members indulging in the Baby Boys and Lupin side-projects, Hippo Campus’ own effervescent ‘Good Dog, Bad Dream’ EP is just another dabble in new sounds that help push the boat of their discography further into uncharted territory. The cheery instrumentation of ‘Bang Bang’ and soothing tones of ‘Semi Pro’, for example, disguise themes of instant gratification and changing dreams respectively – each track manifests its own emotional whirlwind, and contrasting moods combine delightfully.
Subdued celebration can be found within the album’s own journey and revelations, and a sense of cohesion only makes the liberating bliss of closer ‘Understand’ more euphoric. The context of Hippo Campus’ wavering journey underpins this journey with a broader spirit of exploration – of self, of sound, and of the band.
Ultimately, ‘LP3’ is the latest demonstration of five friends who like indie rock blossoming into a tight, matured and experienced unit, the expertise of which is confining loose and relatable thoughts into addictive, bittersweet tunes. Jake Luppen claims to have only recently found his own identity outside of the music world, enabling him to, “finally feel free as an artist,” and you can hear every inkling of that enviable achievement within this record.