In the years between 2018’s BAMBI and LP3, Minneapolis’ Hippo Campus -- made up of vocalist/guitarists Jake Luppen and Nathan Stocker, drummer Whistler Allen, bassist Zach Sutton, and trumpeter DeCarlo Jackson -- has grown up and into itself. Although the five-piece has been friends since middle school and put out a number of studio releases since its inception, it’s the new record, LP3, that’s the most honest portrait of who Hippo Campus is.
It’s also a study in the nuances of growing up -- coming to terms with mortality, the confusing journey of sexuality, bottoming out, seeing decisions from the night before in the harsh morning light; finding your identity as a person and as an artist -- how that can be a collision of elation and shame, painful and joyful all at once.
LP3 is their strongest and most complete work yet -- a freshly-inked portrait excavating young adulthood and identity and, more importantly, how that personal identity fits into a larger camaraderie. It looks at how growing up can just feel like something that’s always moving past you when you’re trying to grab a hold of it; it’s a push-and-pull of letting go or holding tighter -- and figuring out what matters the most. Through cinematic, sonic clarity, LP3 is a sweeping account of courage and tenacity; tender-hearted stumbling that leads you on the right path after all.