Song of the Day: Hippo Campus - Suicide Saturday

Song of the Day
07/07/2015
Jacob Webb
photo by Taylor Hanson

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Suicide Saturday” by Hippo Campus from the 2015 EP Bashful Creatures on Grand Jury Music.

Hippo Campus - Suicide Saturday (MP3)

The precocious members of Hippo Campus might be young, but their knack for breezy melodies and taut rhythms projects a band with far more experience. Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota, the four members of the band met at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. Guitarist/vocalist Jake Luppen, guitarist Nathan Stocker, bassist Zach Sutton, and drummer Whistler Allen (also known by their stage names, Turntun, Stiches, Espo, and Beans; their van is "Crackers") began playing together during their time in high school and built a name for themselves in the tight-knit Twin Cities scene, receiving cosigns from everyone from Dessa to Trampled By Turtles to Low's Alan Sparhawk, who produced their debut EP, Bashful Creatures. After Sutton graduated, the band focused on recording their anticipated debut, The Halocline, promptly scrapped the majority of those sessions, and focused more on touring, including runs with My Morning Jacket and Modest Mouse. One of the band's early signature tracks, "Suicide Saturday" sounds effortless in its youthful charisma. Far more smooth and gliding than the majority of the rock music their similarly-aged peers are making and all the better for it, Stocker and Luppen's guitars shimmer across their bandmates' colorful rhythm performance. The most surprising part of the instantly memorable track, however, is how festival/arena-ready it sounds in spite of the band cutting their teeth almost exclusively in tiny all-ages venues, making "Suicide Saturday" a thrilling reminder of how youthful abandon can make anything seem relatable and enthralling, if only for a few minutes.

Hippo Campus are finishing up a run of UK dates with Modest Mouse and will return to the US for a run of summer dates soon after. Keep up with the band on their Facebook and website, and watch the video for "Suicide Saturday".

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