Hippo Campus emerges on a new wave with latest release ‘Bambi’

After touring the country in what has no doubt been their largest and most successful tour yet, it’s no wonder the dreamers of Hippo Campus have outgrown their boyish persona in their new album, “Bambi.” Leaving the rosy tinted days behind, this project is a torn diary page set to a chill beat.

A somber opening far from the normal bubbles and booze that Hippo Campus songs carry, “Mistakes” is a glimpse into the new era that the group has waded into. With vocals reminiscent to those of a church choir, this song instantly defines the aura of this album.

“Anxious” conveys the reality of living with an anxiety disorder and the complex thoughts that haunt basic human interactions. Attempting to dismantle an anxious mindset is a frustrating uphill battle. This song captures the essence of trying to rationalize the irrational.

Despite its title, “Doubt” is perky, cutting the clouds with a sweet little love ballad. “Honestly” is more upbeat than most. Lyrically, however, it still follows the melancholy undertones heard throughout the album.

“Passenger” is one last call to the one that has been lost. It neatly wraps this album up with a gift tag that says “Sorry, I’m going through something right now.” A passionate plea for what once was, this song in particular hits a level of emotional depth that is unbeknownst to the sunny rockstar singles of Hippo Campus’ first album, “Landmark.”

After all is done, I am left clinging to the final lyrics of this song, “If we ever became the things we lost, the things we left behind, I would wish for the past, when we were pure, suffering intertwined.”

It’s clear to see that Hippo Campus is coming of age.

Every song of this album blends together to tell one complete, winding story.

While the verses are packed with a new eclectic sound Hippo Campus discovered on their travels, the choruses stay true to their lush Indie roots. One thing that struck me about this album is its stunning resemblance to some of Death Cab for Cutie’s earlier works, which is not at all something that I would expect from a band like Hippo Campus.

“Bambi” is a story about navigating the emotional debris of lost lovers and cranial chemistry. This album is a catharsis for every 20-something struggling with feelings of anxiety, self-doubt and romantic regret. This album is not carefree, rather careful. It is perfectly suited for the cooler tones of October, as everyone is left wishing for one more day of Summer, sunburn and all.