During a recent interview with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, bassist Zach Sutton of Hippo Campus in reference to new album Bambi states, “It’s definitely one of the more vulnerable batch of songs we’ve written. It’s introspective.”
Now over two weeks after its initial release, the songs off of the second full-length album Bambi take you through a story of emotions from beginning to end. Lyrically heavy at times, several tracks make note of anxiety, heartbreak, and self-doubt, all offering an introspective approach compared to the guys first album. Different from their introductory album Landmark, which was written about their past experiences, through touring, Hippo Campus formed melodies and wrote lyrics for what they were feeling in the moment. Sutton notes that the boys have a habit of combining heavy lyrics with upbeat melodies. The second album however is more notable for each song style similar to its meaning, upbeat songs with lyrics of euphoria or confusion, and a lower tune for songs with a heavy meaning.
Similar to the first album, Bambi opens up with a steady instrumental in the song titled Mistakes. This track acts as an introduction to the songs following by having a church choir blend of low voices. The song Anxious gives feelings of self-doubt when it appears everyone surrounding you to be doing just fine. For instance as Luppon sings “I see friendly faces but they only make me anxious”. Toward the end of the track Luppon exclaims “I’m finally breaking open” with the anxiety he’s facing.
Their most upbeat song on the album, Doubt has a fun start up and nice in between. Asking throughout the track “is it love, we got trouble keeping up”, it’s a surprise upbeat track between more mellow tunes. Why Even Try is a nice interlude in the middle of the album. The lyrics contemplate what one is making another feel and the possibility of what two people could be if they changed. “You’re yourself way more than I am, being friends was in the palm of my hand” Sutton sings. The tone goes to a low and empty feeling to how it started stating “why even try to change”. Honestly is a stand out for me with it being the least synthesized sounding track due to the steady drum beat in the background. Following this is another mellow and steady tune titled Golden. This track is not as big of a stand out, sounding more like another interlude.
Compared to the last more upbeat record, Bambi is disappointing for some. For those that like mellow Hippo Campus songs though, you most likely will find a track you can chill out to. Although not a stand out record overall, you can sense a different approach and the guys are currently touring to try out these new songs live. Still in their early stages of development as a band, with the release of just their sophomore album and being in their early 20’s, I’m sure Hippo Campus will keep experimenting with their sound and exploring their style for releases in the future.