Jul 02, 2020
From left: Jake Luppen, Zach Sutton, Nathan Stocker and Whistler Allen are Hippo Campus. (The official Hippo Campus Facebook page).

Music Monday: Hippo Campus locks into memories

Indie rock band Hippo Campus is one of music’s best-kept secrets, and it’s time to finally share that secret with the world.

Hippo Campus formed in 2013 and consists of guitarist and vocalist Jake Luppen, guitarist Nathan Stocker, bassist Zach Sutton and drummer Whistler Allen. Each member has a nickname he uses onstage and online: Turntan, Stitches, Espo and Beans, respectively.

The band is from St. Paul, Minnesota, and all of its members went to high school together and played in different bands before creating Hippo Campus. With over 325,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Hippo Campus continues to grow in popularity every day.

After independently releasing its first Extended Play (EP), “Bashful Creatures,” in November 2014, Hippo Campus was signed to Grand Jury Records and the label re-released the EP in February 2015.

A standout song from “Bashful Creatures” and the one that has garnered the most attention for the band is “Suicide Saturday,” which Entertainment Weekly listed as one of its 40 Best Songs of 2015.

“Suicide Saturday” has over 4 million streams on Spotify and is quintessential Hippo Campus with its equally laid-back and upbeat sound that is lyrically matched with a meaningful message.

“[Suicide Saturday] was sort of birthed from this idea of finding a balance with society and with yourself,” Stocker said in a BBC Radio 1 interview. “Having to commit social suicide, in a sense, in order to regain composure with being who you are and maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself.”

Keeping momentum, Hippo Campus played at some of the biggest music festivals throughout 2015 including South by Southwest, Lollapalooza and Reading and Leeds. They were also musical guests on “Conan” and released their second EP “South” in October 2015 which includes hits “South” and “Violet.”

This year the guys have focused on touring and working on music. They released a new single this month called “Boyish,” which offers the traditional upbeat Hippo Campus sound paired with an important message.

“The lyrics of the song face disillusionment within family life, specifically from the aftermath of a divorce” Stocker said in a recent interview with The Courier-Post. “Realizing that there’s a lot of ground to cover in a lifetime, coming to grips with it and embarking on that path is a process that we have been thinking about deeply for most of our time as a band. The song is close to encapsulating that.”

You can find Hippo Campus on Twitter and Instagram at @thehalocline.

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