“warm glow” the Newest EP from Hippo Campus: A Collective Review

1797154c692c2bb80eafb8cf48cbe684.1000x1000x1On September 12th, Minnesota four-piece Hippo Campus released their newest EP warm glow. A surprise to fans, warm glow consists of the long-awaited “baseball”, the recently-played “traveler”, and the upcoming, new fan-favorite “warm glow”. Despite having little time off in between the release of Landmark, the Landmark tour, and a thread of summer festivals, Hippo Campus has done it again with their contagious mantras and groovy baselines. Following the drop, bassist Zach Sutton tweeted “some of our best work” and it truly is. The nostalgic tone of the EP encapsulates the feelings of moving forward from childhood to adulthood, feeling we all become familiar with. The ubiquitousness of this EP’s message in everyone lead us to skip the old-fashioned, singular opinion review and try something new. Below is a collection of thoughts on the new EP, an EP that speaks to how universal music can be.

baseball

“baseball” makes me feel like I’m going to be okay. The lyrics almost seem like they’ve been plucked right out of my own mind, especially in the bridge. Being stuck in the middle of the pendulum that is the transition from childhood and adulthood, “there’s something fiction about the way that reality’s going / seems like the chakras playing hopscotch / anxiety growing” describes the exact feelings I have at this point in my life. This song makes those scary looming thoughts a lot less intimidating; knowing I’m not alone with a bouncy guitar riff and a name drop of the nickname I go by. – Jules Johnson

With the song “baseball”, the band jumps straight into deep material. Frontman, Jake Luppen, opens with lines about cigarettes and “the smell of death that kept strolling in”, hinting at themes that range from unhealthy relationships to the mistake of judging others. Yet, these weighty subjects are intertwined with an upbeat tempo and references to the game of baseball. This song comes to a close with some of my favorite lyrics of the album: “my bones are tired of the body that woke me up today”. This line is able to simplistically capture the connection between our physical state of being and the less visibly apparent internal toils.  – Jessica Nakamoto

Listening to “baseball” reverberates memories of summer sun and childhood innocence and joy. – Molly McCaul

It’s light, upbeat, and includes a catchy chorus that gets stuck in your head for days. “baseballperfectly captures the transition of summer into fall. – Gabriela Ruiz

That feeling of having so much fun, you never want whatever is happening to end – that’s how I feel about “baseball”. From beginning to end, I’m reminded of the smiling faces of my closest friends glowing under the hot July sun.  – Dylan Valdez

Besides just giving me the best new way to talk about anxiety – “seems like the chakras playin’ hopscotch” – “baseball” is some of Hippo Campus’s best lyrical work  – Hannah Zwick

traveler

From the first time I heard “traveler”, I felt something I haven’t felt for Hippo Campus in a long time. Although of course, I loved Landmark with all my heart, “traveler” just seemed like the perfect synthesis of the production beauty of Landmark with the rawness and energy of the Halocline EPs. The lyrics are stunning and detailed, but is that really any surprise coming from Hippo Campus? The line “feelings so fleeting yet never completing the thoughts I’d quelled to last” had me hooked upon first listen. The song has an extremely personal meaning to me, being that I have always had a passion to travel and never stay stagnant with where I am in life. I have never found a song that encapsulates that feeling as this song does. Catch me getting it permanently inked on my arm in a few months! – Monica Sucic

“Fresh out of your mother’s house. You’re a traveler now. Your heart is heavy now. You’re a traveler”. As a new college student, these lyrics really hit home for me. When I first heard these lines, I immediately connected to the sense of leaving home and commuting or “traveling” to school each day. In a way, I have made a big leap. However, in another view, I have only made the first small step towards becoming an adult. Either way, there is a looming sense of responsibility and an exciting but heavy feeling that one can sense in the heart. – JN

“traveler” is a love of the present and an ode to the whirlwind carelessness of the fleeting youth so many of us still retain. – MM

If Hippo’s previous lyrics felt personal, “You’re a traveler / your heart is heavy now / you’re a traveler / fresh out of your mother’s house” is the dart to strike the bullseye of my current situation. – HZ

warm glow

This song is arguably one of my favorite Hippo Campus pieces. There is strong imagery invoked by the lyrics. As a listener, you are transported to a what I imagine as being the perfect charming southern town where one can watch the “smoke-swell haze on the hill” and the “warm glow morning” in complete peace. In other words, there is a zen-like quality to this song that is in fact “warm” and comforting to listen to. As Jake Luppen stated when referencing the EP, “a project must grow and evolve, at times pulling its creators apart. It is necessary however, in an almost therapeutic way, to return to what has always been sacred”. – JN

“warm glow” may be Hippo Campus’s best song. It’s beautiful from start to finish – sensitive, nostalgic, soulful, hopeful. It builds gracefully and feels like the song that should close every coming-of-age movie ever made.  Lyrically, it seems, Hippo Campus has a thing for mantras. “She’ll be fine on her own” is repeated throughout “Buttercup” on Landmark and, most recently, “Peace sign getting by / people we’ll be alright” on “warm glow”.  The latter recalls another “Buttercup” lyric as well: “I’ll be fine I’m alright it’s my body” in its reassurance and grounding effect.  Hippo Campus is not afraid to be vulnerable – warm glow captures the vulnerability that comes with being on your own, opening up, and setting your own course. Maybe I’m just projecting, but isn’t that what music is for? – HZ

“warm glow” makes me feel as if my life is an epic story and I’m the protagonist that everyone is rooting for. It’s the kind of song that gives reassurance as the movie ends, and our hero is driving off into the sunset in a beat down car to anywhere and nowhere. The words flow together to look right into your soul and pull out your fondest, most immaculate memories to remind you that darkness doesn’t last always. A “warm glow” is in everything. – JJ

“warm glow” makes me feel safe, it makes me feel like i’m next to a fireplace with all of my friends and just hanging out, it makes me feel like nothing else matters but the present.  – Alex Aguilar

“warm glow” features smooth vocals and captivating instrumentals. It’s the type of song you sing at the top of your lungs while driving on a dark night with the windows rolled down. – GR

It reminds me of the feeling you get when that friend that you haven’t talk to for months meets up with you again, and you can talk like no time has ever passed. It’s just very calming and inviting. – Madi Brady

The closing title track evokes the feeling of sitting on a dock on Labor Day weekend – knowing there’s a future out there, waiting for you, and finding comfort in the fact you don’t quite know what that future might hold. It’s a work of personal growth, and to sit and listen to warm glow is to go on a journey that will leave you changed, if only in a small way.  – MM

By: Samantha Schraub

Contributors: Alex Aguilar, Madi Brady, Jules Johnson, Jessica Nakamoto, Molly McCaul, Gabriela Ruiz, Monica Sucic, Dylan Valdez, Hannah Zwick

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