STAFF PICK: warm glow by Hippo Campus
In February, Minnesota indie band Hippo Campus released their ambitious and rewarding debut album Landmark (via Grand Jury Music) and surprised fans with three new songs on their EP warm glow yesterday. Their first two EPs, Bashful Creatures & South, familiarized their sound as uptempo pop with the grit of punk rockers, but Landmark opened a new door to their sound and warm glow is an extension of that creativity.
The first track "baseball" sounds familiar, either through YouTube videos or when I saw them at recordBar, but it's reminiscent of their high energy tracks on Bashful Creatures. In the first verse they incorporated acoustic guitar, which you don't hear a ton of in their songs, but it has the same folk essence as tracks like "Western Kids." The second song "traveler" is driven by Nathan Stocker's calculated yet dizzy guitar riffs and shines a light on their rhythm section's ability to never do the same thing twice. The title track "warm glow" is the grand finale of the EP. Just like "The Halocline" and "Poems", the song slowly builds energy throughout the song. Guitar and banjos playing in harmony over Luppen's soft vocals, the song builds momentum and on the bridge they chant: "Arms length, shoulders wide. Looking for a fight...peace sign, getting by. People, we'll be alright." It continues to show how adamant they are about each sound you hear and the cohesiveness of their music.
As a fan, I wasn't expecting music for the rest of the year due to the album release, but it's nice when bands keep their audiences on their toes. It's rewarding to follow a band's career and hear the growth through their music, and Hippo Campus has managed to do that on every release without sacrificing creativity or originality.
Read the lyrics and stream warm glow below: