Album Review: Hippo Campus – landmark

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Hippo Campus

Listen to this album in summer. Listen to this album when you miss summer. This Album is summer.

Hippo Campus have secured that classically dreamy indie-band sound under their belts. Their previous album, ‘Bashful Creatures’, is safe and easy going; a mixture of cool evening vibes and summery guitar melodies. First impressions of the new album, ‘landmark’, take me back to when I first found this band during the last few hazy days of summer.

Lazy strumming opens the album and the lull of each track rolls into the next. This album feels a little more studio worked, adding texture to the band’s sound; the same honest music but with a few flourish’s here and there. What I love about this album is how it feels like summer weather; each song sounds like sunlight or thunder or heavy summer downpours.

The murky intro track, sun veins’, awakens the new album with the sound of a thunderstorm, seamlessly leading into next track, ‘way it goes’, with washed-out guitar strumming. Vines opens with the same hazy intro and laid back, almost giddy feeling; lazy instrumentals creating a purely summer vibe.

Epitaph is distorted and delicate, the song feels like a summer downpour with it’s descending vocals and intricate melodies, and if epitaph was a downpour, simple season is the drizzle. More buoyant than delicate; spring showers come to mind.

It’s like if Mac Demarco and the 1975 had a lovechild going by the name of ‘landmark’. Nostalgic lyrics and lethargic guitar melodies taking the spotlight as per usual. Jake Luppen’s voice is such an asset to this band and they seem to have taken notice of this more than ever with their new album; the vocals are unhurried, and each track is polished with sweet-toned harmonies.

Drowsy would be the best way to explain ‘landmark’. Hippo Campus seem to have a very interesting approach to their music; it’s not so much about their instruments or sound but more about the feel of each song. Don’t get me wrong, each part is flawless, but so well matched to each instrument’s part that, in a way, it washes into one sound.

Monsoon, is a moody contrast to rest of the album. A melancholic piano piece, matched with delicate vocals create a short and sweet dreamy escape. Momentarily, the band’s upbeat, beachy usual takes a rain-check. Definitely a night-time track in my eyes, something about the soft sounding track is reminiscent of moonlight.

Character is what makes a collection of songs into an album. ‘landmark’; blatantly elemental, and full of feeling is Hippo Campus’s best yet. I’d definitely recommend giving this one a listen.

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