Hippo Campus

Hippo Campus is an indie rock band from St. Paul, Minnesota. They are signed to Grand Jury Records in the United States and Transgressive Records in the UK.[1] The band has performed at South by Southwest, Lollapalooza,[2] Bonnaroo,[3] Summerfest[4] and Reading and Leeds Festivals, as well as on Conan.

Hippo Campus
Hippo Campus in 2017
Background information
OriginSt. Paul, Minnesota
GenresIndie rock, indie pop, alternative rock, pop rock
Years active2013–present
LabelsGrand Jury Records, Transgressive Records
Associated actsBaby Boys
  • Jake Luppen
  • Nathan Stocker
  • Zach Sutton
  • Whistler Allen
  • DeCarlo Jackson

Hippo Campus were named one of NPR Music's favorite new artists of 2017.[5]


Formation (2013)

Hippo Campus were formed when Jake Luppen (lead vocals/guitar), Nathan Stocker (lead guitar/vocals), Zach Sutton (bass/keyboard), and Whistler Isaiah Allen (drums/vocals)[6] met at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists where they studied jazz, and Luppen trained in opera. SPCPA friend DeCarlo Jackson (trumpet) began playing regularly with them in 2017. Many of them played in other bands (Blatant Youth/Whistle Kid; Danger, Will Robinson/Northern) before uniting as Hippo Campus, a name Nathan Stocker chose while in psychology class. They often performed under their stage names The Turntan, Stitches, Espo, and Beans respectively, but no longer use the names on stage.[7]

Tarzan Rejects EP (2013)

Hippo Campus recorded and released an EP entitled ‘Tarzan Rejects’ in 2013. This EP consisted of 5 tracks, 2 of which are original recordings of the songs Little Grace and South.

Track List:

    Little Grace
    I (Oh, I)
    St. Paul Roofs


Bashful Creatures and South EPs (2014–2016)

On November 18, 2014, Hippo Campus independently released their EP titled, Bashful Creatures,[9] produced by Low's Alan Sparhawk. They later signed with Grand Jury records, and re-released Bashful Creatures with their new label on May 5, 2015.[10] The band supported the release with an appearance at SXSW, and a performance on Conan.[11] The EP featured two singles, "Little Grace" and "Suicide Saturday",[12] and Hippo Campus did live sessions at KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic,[13] and KEXP.[14] On December 26, 2015, they appeared on the nationally broadcast CBS This Morning.[15] Paste named them Best of What's Next in 2015.[16]

On August 30, 2015, the band's song "The Halocline" was featured in the series finale of the TNT series Falling Skies[17] and later they toured with Modest Mouse,[18] Walk the Moon,[19] The Mowgli's, Rubblebucket, Vacationer, My Morning Jacket, and they made an appearance at Lollapalooza in Chicago,[11] Summerfest in Milwaukee, Rock the Garden in Minneapolis,[20] and Reading and Leeds Festivals in the United Kingdom.[12]

Hippo Campus released their second EP, South in October 2015.[17] South went to #16 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.[21]

Landmark album and warm glow EP (2016–2018)

The band released the single "Boyish"[22] prior to their first full-length album, the guitar-based Landmark, which came out February 24, 2017.[23] The #3 Billboard Heatseeker album[21] was produced by BJ Burton, who produced albums for Low and Bon Iver.[24]

Landmark was described by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as "loaded with thickly cushioned ambiance, billowy melodies and concisely written songs."[25] Their second single from the album was "Way It Goes"[26] which they performed on their second appearance on the Conan show.[27]

They played a sold-out show at the iconic venue First Avenue in March 2017, and then Hippo Campus embarked on an international headline tour. That summer they played Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee and Lollapalooza in Chicago.

Hippo Campus next released a self-produced three-song EP called warm glow in October 2017.[28][29]

In spring and summer 2018, Hippo Campus performed at Sasquatch! Music Festival in George, Washington,[30] and again at Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK, and opened for Sylvan Esso at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado.[31]

Bambi (2018-present)

The band's album Bambi, released September 28, 2018 was preceded by the singles "Passenger", "Golden", and "Bambi". Once again produced by BJ Burton,[32] the Boston Globe noted that it was "a massive step forward" as the band used more synthesizer and programmed drums.[33]

Hippo Campus headlined their own tour from Fall 2018 into Winter 2019 across the United States, the United Kingdom[34][35] and Europe.[36] They did a live session at WFUV radio,[37] among other similar appearances.

In Fall 2018, they performed at venues like Chicago’s Riviera Theater[38] and New York City’s Terminal 5[39] and UK indie hotspot SWX Nightclub in Bristol on their Bambi Tour.

In March 2019, Hippo Campus performed in 2 countries in Asia and during the summer of 2019, Hippo Campus joined their tour with The Head and the Heart, opening at venues such as Red Rocks for two sold out shows.


As part of the Me Too movement, Hippo Campus teamed up with the Women's Foundation of Minnesota to help donate profits from their merchandise sales to that foundation.[40] They partnered with Normal Parents and Everytown For Gun Safety selling special "Thoughts and Prayers" T-shirts to raise awareness.[41]

Headlining tours

  • Spring Tour (2016)
  • June Tour (2016)
  • Landmark Tour (2017)
  • Winter Tour (2018)
  • Bambi Tour (2018 - 2019)




  • Tarzan Reject (2013)
  • Bashful Creatures (2014)
  • South (2015)
  • warm glow (2017)


  • "Little Grace" (2015)
  • "Boyish" (2016)
  • "Monsoon" (2016)
  • "Last Snowstorm of the Year" (2016)
  • "Way It Goes" (2017)
  • "Passenger" (2018)
  • "Bambi" (2018)
  • "Golden" (2018)


  1. Dhillon, Achal (February 8, 2017). "Artist of the day 08/02: Hippo Campus". Metro UK. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  2. Taroy, Daniel (August 17, 2017). "#TBT: Lollapalooza edition with Hippo Campus and Frenship". Fast Company. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  3. Paulson, Dave (June 7, 2017). "Bonnaroo 2017 live stream schedule: How to watch from home". Tennessean. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  4. "Hey! Here are the headliners for Summerfest 2017". Milwaukee Record. April 12, 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  5. "Your Favorite New Artists Of 2017 (So Far)". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  6. "Hippo Campus". Billboard. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  7. Swensson, Andrea (May 14, 2014). "Hippo Campus emerge from the bustling underground all-ages scene". The Current. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  8. Kampf, Mitch (November 14, 2014). "Album Review: Hippo Campus – Bashful Creatures EP". KSTO Radio. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  9. Riemenschneider, Chris (May 11, 2015). "Local music notes: Hippo Campus signs, Are You Local? reveals". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  10. Saunders, Hilary (April 28, 2015). "Hippo Campus: The Best of What's Next". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  11. "10 Buzziest New Bands At Reading And Leeds Festival 2015". NME. August 30, 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  12. "Hippo Campus". kcrw.com. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  13. Beckmann, Jim. "Live Video: Hippo Campus". kexp.org. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  14. "Hippo Campus". IMDB. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  15. Lanham, Tom (March 7, 2017). "Catching Up With: Hippo Campus". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  16. Vain, Madison (August 31, 2015). "Get lost in Hippo Campus' new tune 'The Halocline'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  17. Birnstengel, Grace (June 16, 2015). "Hippo Campus – "Suicide Saturday" Video (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  18. Riemenschneider, Chris (December 24, 2015). "Artist of the Year honorable mention: Hippo Campus". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  19. Harris, Keith (June 15, 2018). "Every Rock the Garden lineup ever, ranked". City Pages. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  20. "Hippo Campus Chart History". billboard.com. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  21. "Hippo Campus – Boyish". discogs.com. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  22. Galbraith, Alex (October 31, 2016). "Hippo Campus announce debut album landmark, share video for "boyish" — watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  23. Carroll, Jim (February 16, 2017). "Hippo Campus: Landmark – infectious indie with a spirit of adventure". Irish Times. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  24. Riemenschneider, Chris (March 9, 2017). "Twin Cities band Hippo Campus grows into its new 'Landmark' album". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  25. Landler, Caroline (November 9, 2018). "Hippo Campus Was Electric And Eccentric At 9:30 Club". Georgetown Voice. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  26. Ralph, Caitlyn (March 8, 2017). "HIPPO CAMPUS PROVE THEY'RE THE NEXT INDIE BAND YOU NEED TO KNOW WITH PERFECT PERFORMANCE ON 'CONAN'". Alternative Press. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  27. Baker, Brian (February 5, 2018). "Sound Advice: Hippo Campus with Sure Sure (Feb. 7)". Cincinnati City Beat. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  28. "Hippo Campus w/The Districts". Shepherd Express. October 5, 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  29. Podlesky, Azaria (February 5, 2018). "Bon Iver, the National, Modest Mouse to headline 2018 Sasquatch! Music Festival". Spokane Spokesman. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  30. Witt, Haley (July 31, 2018). "Hippo Campus returned to Red Rocks, older and wiser". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  31. "Hippo Campus announce new album + single 'Bambi'". Medium. August 23, 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  32. Feldberg, Isaac (September 6, 2018). "Fall Arts Preview: Album picks". Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  34. "Enter to Win Two Tickets to Hippo Campus". Minneapolis City Pages. November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  35. Jones, Abby (October 9, 2018). "INTERVIEW: HOW RAW VULNERABILITY SHAPED HIPPO CAMPUS' SECOND ALBUM, BAMBI". Atwood Magazine. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  36. Ali, Alisa. "FUV LIVE HIPPO CAMPUS: 2018". wfuv.org. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  37. "Hippo Campus The Districts". www.rivieratheatre.com. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  38. Haas, Anna (June 12, 2018). "Hippo Campus Release the Peacefully Swelling "Passenger," Announce Fall Tour". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  39. Norris, John (September 27, 2018). "Hippo Campus on the 'Indie-Alt' Divide, the Sexist 'Chick Band' Trope & Their Adventurous Second Album 'Bambi'". Billboard. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  40. McCormick, Zach (July 9, 2018). "Go Local: Hippo Campus And Normal Parents Make A Case For Gun Safety". Go Radio Minneapolis. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
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