Thursday, January 27, 2022

Hippo Campus push their electronic boundaries in new single ‘Ride or Die’

Hippo Campus are a longstanding indie-rock band that have been a staple of the scene for nearly a decade.

Made up of Jake Luppen, Nathan Stocker, Zach Sutton, Whistler Allen and DeCarlo Jackson, the fivesome have been releasing singles ahead of their upcoming album, with ‘Ride or Die’ being the latest.

Whilst at first it has all the hall markings of their usual releases, it soon develops into a track with an experimental edge. 

‘Ride or Die’ has the group’s signature upbeat charm, layering a simple drum beat over hints of electronic elements. An immediately striking element of the song is the cadence of the lead vocals, carefully placed at striking intervals in the otherwise simple instrumentation. It infuses the lyrics with direction, and makes for a poignant stylistic choice that helps build momentum towards the hook. The bridge then builds together with a crescendo of the track’s components. Hippo Campus utilises the electronic portions of the song by layering them to create distortion – an otherwise unusual but much-welcomed addition to the group’s repertoire. 

The release has a playful nature due to the rhyme scheme of the lyrics; they are naively eloquent – “If you want to go and get high for my love / Make you cry for my love / Like you said you knew me / If you want to go and waste time for my love / Pay no mind to my love / You could walk right through me”. The lyrics play up to the child-like nature of falling for someone, and the love-littered track oozes adoration for a significant other.

The combination of both the charming production and giddy lyricism creates an atmosphere on ‘Ride or Die’ that feels less passive than previous offerings from the group, which intensifies the anticipation of their forthcoming album. 

Jessica McCarrick
Image: ‘Ride or Die’ Official Single Cover (PRESS)

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