Bashful Creatures is the debut album for the four membered indie rock band Hippo Campus. This first album is like a fresh-faced glass of orange juice. It is basically the personification of a beach. It combines elements of jazz, rock, pop, and reggae into—if I may say so myself—a pretty great listen. It’s got clean production, discernable variety, tactful writing, and crisp vocals. I found myself singing along just with the third listen, and all the songs are infectious. I’m not exaggerating.
The first song, “Sophie So” is a promising opening—it’s iced with melodious guitars intertwining around each other in harmony. But this song is rudimentary compared to the rest of the album. Hippo Campus skillfully uses dancing guitar riffs that get stuck in your head—but rather than being obnoxious, the tunes are relaxing and perfect for listening to after a long day. The vocalist, Jake Luppen, or Turntan, as he’s called in the band, has a very distinct, raw voice. And his voice, coupled with whispers and spontaneous yelps, makes this album a thousand times worth the listen. The 5th song, “Opportunistic” starts off very basic, and at first it’s just like… okay. But the progression of this song makes it definitely my favorite song on the album. The beginning is just eight notes played over and over, but after the first verse, they add on another riff that they later take down an octave—it’s just—it’s good.
Overall, Bashful Creatures is an energetic album. Its sounds are simple and easy, but with each listen there’s more to explore. I’m excited to hear more from this band, and it’s definitely worth a listen.
FCC: Tracks 2, 5
Recommended Tracks: 5, 4
FIYL: Young the Giant, Vampire Weekend