With cold winter nights spent staying warm and cozy inside, the sound of lo-fi indie plays in the background of my room, creating a peaceful environment. The music of Hippo Campus blaring from my speaker, music bouncing off the walls as I listen to their new second album Bambi, creating an emotional experience with their moving lyrics and flowing rhythm. 

Hardly out of high school, four boys living just outside the Twin Cities formed together to create catchy indie pop rock based on their love of music. The band met at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists where they all attended high school. Many of Hippo Campus’s members played in other bands, such as Blatant Youth/Whistle Kid, Danger and Will Robinson/Northern before uniting.

The new album is composed of sweet sounding melodies and crisp arrangements that complement the harmonies of each song. It is playful and quirky, but with a vulnerability that lies in the fragile flow and honest lyrics. The album’s overall lyrical content was inspired by the cultural shifts of the past couple of years, according to guitarist Jake. This includes the #MeToo movement and other socio-political issues, such as the society’s obsession with toxic masculinity.

The song, ‘Bambi’, is the highlight of their album, and for a great reason. In my opinion, it ties in the overlapping theme of the album while adding its own unique touch. One of the other songs in the album, ‘Anxious’ is a great model of a techno and indie music mash-up.

While it has been universally agreed upon that the second album is not an easy one to conquer for most bands, Hippo Campus showed that they are not backing down to the challenge. Bambi, their ‘sophomore’ album proves that the band still possesses the spark that made their early releases and their first full-length record so successful and kindly received.

All in all, Bambi is an excellent continuation for last year’s album, Landmark. For people looking for a new branch of indie music, ‘Bambi’ is an album to listen to. 

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