‘Wasteland’ is not a waste: A new EP from Hippo Campus

Casey Wiederhold, Associate Photography Editor

The band Hippo Campus stays in my memory as one of my favorite bands. Its new EP “Wasteland” is no different. The EP, released on April 14, is a five-track album. Three of these five songs were released as singles throughout February and March, each creating more anticipation among fans as the days passed until the release.

While this EP contains only five songs, Hippo Campus makes each one memorable. The opening track, “Moonshine,” released as a single three days before the EP, is easily a song I can envision myself listening to while driving on the highway, windows down. The song has an upbeat sound to it, as the band sings about being in love with someone. The lyrics, “Shot of moonshine, makin’ you shine too” stand out in particular, as well as the final line, “How the hell did we get here?”

The second track, “Yippie Ki Yay,” was released as a single, as well as the closing track, “Kick in the Teeth.” Both singles are reminiscent of earlier tracks that the band has released, such as “Suicide Saturday” and “Way it Goes.” “Suicide Saturday” is one of the most popular Hippo Campus tracks. I’ve been told by friends that the band still frequently plays the song when they go on tour. According to genius the song is about maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. Looking at the lyrics of the song this makes more sense than what I originally thought. “Way It Goes,” according to leade singer Jake Luppen, the song is about poking fun at the world and the social media fads that the world sees currently.

However, all four for these songs are similar in terms of music. They all have the light-heartedness of the guitar and bass, as well as the keyboards and drums. The music creates a cheery way of listening and allows for listeners to enjoy their songs.

I personally prefer “Kick in the Teeth” over “Yippie Ki Yay” because it’s a laid-back track that has the elements of acoustic guitar, whereas the latter is livelier. It is still a fun song to listen to, but “Kick in the Teeth” includes some my favorite Hippo Campus lyrics, “I’m about as lonely as a cowboy can be.”

Track three, titled “Honeysuckle,” features an acoustic-electric guitar, as well as a bassline performed by Zach Sutton that can actually be heard fairly well. Typically, I find it hard to hear the bass line unless I boost the bass myself in settings. Sutton always has a way with the the bassline that makes it heard throughout the bands’ songs.

The song speaks about going through changes in life and trying to make sure you can get by without holding on too tightly to certain aspects of your life. This song works well with the other tracks on the EP and creates a combined upbeat summery-on-the-beach type of vibe when listening.

Every album or EP needs an emotional song. One song from this EP in particular tugged at my heartstrings. “Probably” by Hippo Campus is my favorite song of the entire EP. It’s created using just piano and acoustic guitar. The song is about the heartbreak that comes with breaking off a relationship. I could sit here and read off the lyrics, but I would rather leave my favorite ones, “This was bound to happen, if not now, then someday / It was nice calling you babe / For a while.” 

These lyrics stood out to me the most because they were so relatable. The band does a fantastic job in creating a lighthearted and slower song that creates so much emotion in it. Luppen, creates a touching performance of going through a breakup and putting how it feels into words.

The release of this EP generates more excitement for me as I prepare to see the band in concert on June 3. These five songs are ones that would sound just as great live as they do when I listen to them with my headphones on full blast as I walk to my classes.