Hippo Campus is a new indie pop/rock 4-piece that is stealing the hearts of girls in every city they play. Thursday night at Baby’s Alright I checked out the band and talked to the boys after the show and they are every bit as adorable as their set would have you believe- with the musical chops to back it up.
The band hails from Minnesota and has been on a rigorous tour schedule all year. Their stop in New York was to a jam packed room. They played hits off their last album Bashful Creatures like “Little Grace” and “Suicide Saturday” in addition to lots of newer and dare I say, slightly heavier, material. The songs on Bashful Creatures remind me of an early Vampire Weekend. Both bands have polished and urbane lyrics, coupled with fast and fussy guitar lines to get your heart rate up. Their band name itself is even a high-brow academic reference to the part of the brain associated with your long term memories, something Ezra Koenig and Rostam Batmanglij would appreciate. Their lyrics are sophisticated while also telling to the intrinsically jealous, passionate and sometimes idiotic nature of the teenage boy brain. “I cannot tell what you claim to see, that your heart is black and mine is so green” is the opening line for their song Little Grace, and lead vocalist Jake delivers it with swoon-worthy sincerity.
Their arrangements are fun without being “fun”; catchy melodies supported with funky, solid, bass and drum grooves. The band has also nailed their live performance with coordinated dance moves and witty banter with the audience. Be sure to check them out coming to a city near you on their ongoing tour.