Academy 2 - Dublin / 14th October 2017
ranscendence doesn’t come easy. It’s usually the payoff to a long journey. And while Hippo Campus’ journey is still being written, with landmark, the band has never seemed more confident in the road they’re walking.
“There’s a moment in growing up when it becomes clear that the road you walk is your own to cultivate.”
A surprisingly profound sentiment for a band of 21-year olds. Nevertheless, it’s a sentiment that animates much of landmark, the debut album from Minneapolis’ Hippo Campus.
From the resplendent “way it goes,” a guitar led gallop about the Instagram-filtered church of cool, to the propulsive “boyish,” a horn-kissed rumination on children of divorce, landmark is shot through with a woozy dissonance between precocious wisdom and old-as-time coming of age stories. The result is a messy, brave, and earnest whole -- not to mention, a tectonic shift forward for a young band still discovering itself.
landmark’s recording, helmed by BJ Burton (Bon Iver, Sylvan Esso, etc.), primarily took place at Sonic Ranch, with finishing touches applied at Pachyderm Studios in the band’s native Minnesota. The ranch, a residential studio located on a 2300-acre pecan farm near the border between Texas and Mexico, represented a big shift for four young men from the northern Midwest's cooler climes. "You're just in the middle of the desert, and there are these pecan trees for as far as you can see," says Stocker. "It's pretty surreal—kind of like a dream."
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