Bashful Creatures is the indie pop debut EP from Hippo Campus, a four piece band hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota that will have you pressing replay over and over. For their first studio EP, Hippo Campus is making big waves. This summer they will be performing at Lollapalooza in Chicago, they recently performed at SXSW in Austin, Texas and performed “Suicide Saturday” live on Conan. Clean, energizing, and infectious it is no wonder Bashful Creatures is getting such buzz.Hippo Campus is signed to Grand Jury Records which is also the home of Twin Peaks and Trampled by Turtles. The EP was recorded in Pachyderm Studios and is made to make you remember them (just like the portion of the brain referred to as the hippocampus).
The opening track “Sophie So” sets the indie vibe so the EP, with a hint of reggae that preserves through all 6 tracks. In “Souls” Jake Luppen joyously sings “Oh we won’t go back to the room where we sold our soul”. With its groove and clap interlude this track is a personal favorite from the EP. Lead guitarist Nathan Stocker’s guitar riff in “Suicide Saturday” follows the vocal melody -foreshadowing or echoing that Luppen will sing- building harmonies to cascade within itself. “Opportunistic” would remind you of Ezra Koenig style vocals. This entire sweet summer EP is reminiscent of Vampire Weekend or Young the Giant from their self-titled album.
It is a shimmering album, the epitome of indie rock. Sweet, adventuresome, and youthful Bashful Creatures is a perfect Saturday early afternoon when you have specific no plans but plenty of time. It is no wonder it sounds so youthful, the band is made up of 18-20 year olds. They are fresh in the prime of youth, having only graduated high school in ’13.The EP wraps up with the title track “Bashful Creatures” an peppy indie pop song with guitars that seem to dance. First declaring “Bashful Creatures, I don’t give a fuck… I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you wear” as if they are done with pretenses. The song goes on to say “don’t try to fight it anymore”, as an overall encouragement – as cliché as it could be – to just be one’s self. There is a section of the song that sort of sounds like a group of monkeys heckling you, but it works.
Bashful Creatures is just scratching the surface of what Hippo Campus will become, but it is a great place to start their search. The album leaves you wishing that there were more, so here is to hoping their next release will be soon.
The track list is below:
- Sophie So
- Little Grace
- Suicide Saturday
- Bashful Creatures
Below is the video to “Souls”