Paste Session of the Day: Hippo Campus

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Paste Session of the Day: Hippo Campus

In 2006, Paste Magazine began capturing video performances of some of our favorite bands and Daytrotter began doing the same with audio. We joined forces five years later, and have since combined to capture 11,545 performances (and counting)— at the Paste Studios in Atlanta and New York; at the Daytrotter Studios in Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island, Ill.; and at venues across the country and even internationally. We pride ourselves on the quality of these sessions and still can’t believe the range of amazing artists we’ve been able to work with. Every weekday we’ll highlight a favorite session from this deep and ever-growing catalog. Enjoy today’s Paste Session of the Day below!

Even before I began interning at Paste, this studio session was one of my favorite live performances. I was first introduced to Hippo Campus back when I was in high school with their song “Suicide Saturday” on their debut EP Bashful Creates. It was unlike anything I’d heard in a long while, coming amidst an era of bedroom pop and indie/DIY in 2018. With little-to-no synths or extra production, the band relied on really knowing their instruments. Their playful nature with one another and a bond that seems almost impossible to break shine through their music and make the listening experience that much more enjoyable.

In the intimate setting of the Paste Studio in Manhattan, the band’s passion oozes out of each band member and permeates through the video screen—I can only imagine what it was like to be there in person.

After watching this session, I knew there was no other option but to see the band perform live—even if the album wasn’t my favorite to begin with. Their ability to listen to one another within the moment and work with the ebbs and flows of the music is astounding. Like any good band, they let each band member have their own moment to shine: Jake Luppen with his vocal runs and insane range highlighted in “Boyish,” Nathan Stocker with his guitar riffs in “Way It Goes,” DeCarlo Jackson with his trumpet solos and embellishments throughout the set, Zach Sutton with his bass line in “Western Kids,” Whistler Allen with an intuition for steadying or building the song’s forward momentum with his drums.

Together, they’re a breathtaking presence. The band can’t help but make the room go quiet so the audience can take a moment to process what they heard. This session, on the heels of the band being named Paste’s Best of What’s Next, closes with the audience’s applause and shouts to give their respect and admiration for the young band. You can watch the full session below or check out the individual tracks that follow.

Hippo Campus

Session Date: June 16, 2017
Location: Paste Studios, New York, NY
Songs: “Way It Goes” | “Western Kids” | “Boyish”
Credits: Brad Wagner (video), Bob Mallory (audio), Hilary Saunders (host)