It’s a tricky thing, following up a breakout album with new material. How will the band respond to the hype surrounding their sound? And can they capture the same energy that made their fans fall in love with them in the first place?
For Twin Cities quartet Hippo Campus, things have changed dramatically for them since they wrote the songs on their debut EP, Bashful Creatures. They’ve toured the country and the U.K. opening for bands like the Mowgli’s, Motion City Soundtrack, and Walk the Moon, and they’re just coming down from playing a high-profile set at Lollapalooza.
So what’s next? As the group told Jade today when they swung through the Current’s studios, they’ve already put the finished touches on a new EP, South, and are itching to record even more material when their touring schedule slows down.
Their first single, “South,” is everything one would hope for in a sophomore release: It definitely has all the characteristics of Hippo Campus’s charismatic sound, with squeaky-clean, bright guitar riffs, a driving summertime rhythm, and Jake Luppen’s yelping, elastic voice, but it also shows some signs of growth—chiefly, a little gruffness in Luppen’s voice as he pushes through the final verse of the song, and the additional feature of Nathan Stocker’s voice on looping interlude.
“South is about growing up, and recognizing where you come from, and the environment that you’ve grown up in, and accepting that that was then, and this now,” says Stocker, who writes the band’s lyrics along with Luppen. “It’s about personal growth.”
Listen to “South” here:
The new EP, South, will be released by Grand Jury on October 2. Hippo Campus will be back in town to play Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival in Loring Park on August 22 with Walk the Moon and Atlas Genius.