Hippo Campus - 'Bambi'

7/10

Formed in 2013, Hippo Campus was born from a group of high-school friends who were just looking to have a good time. But as the years marched on, the group found themselves in a less motivational atmosphere. With the world around them forever becoming more bleak and unstable, they instead opted for a more sombre direction on their debut album 'Landmark' last year. This intention has now rolled over into their quickly produced sophomore release 'Bambi', but that hasn't stopped them from adding a silver lining to their sound this time around.

As one of the more socially conscious bands working today, Hippo Campus have a strong connection to the world around them and look to it for inspiration on this latest collection of tracks. Reflecting on the past year, including the #MeToo movement, toxic masculinity, and mental health issues through social media, the band have looked to create a release that is both caring and uplifting when it needs to be. While it focuses strongly on issues that clearly matter to them, the general tone of this release is one of optimism, looking for the simple moments of joy in a place with little to spare.

From the start, 'Bambi' is a very multi-layered affair, with the band taking on a different aesthetic on almost every track, making this a very diverse listen to experience. And while it keeps very true to the band's psych-pop-inspiried direction, it does suffer from its own reflective fatigue at times. A confident return from a band still trying to figure things out.

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