Bambi: A Look Into the Mind of Hippo Campus
A reverent weight upon a cathartic sound. Hippo Campus’ second studio album Bambi was able to show a new, more vulnerable side to the band. Released on September 28th, 2018, Bambi showed through the lens of mental health, the vulnerability of the band members. Despite their previous work, this album was able to showcase their emotions in a more exposed way. Although there were songs in the past that were able to showcase emotion, Bambi was a complete dive into the struggles that mental health provides in everyday life. It was able to show an important and accessible view of mental health directly from those that experience it. Through the album, all listeners can therefore feel a connection with the music themselves and better understand those around them that experience the same feelings.
The many meanings behind Bambi come out of the many songs on it working together. While many of the different songs have different ideas, the struggles that they each have to face provide a sense of understanding of the band members and the audience. While the many different ideas work together to provide an image on the different difficulties of mental health, they break it down through different mental health conditions and the needs of people while they deal with them as well as the different day to day struggles that people go through. Throughout the album, they create more understanding with the listeners through their vulnerability and ability to vocalize that feeling in a new way which is easy to understand and empathize with.
When I first heard the album, I was driving by the Kirkwood Ski Resort in California. As I drove by, It was mid-fall and the trees were a beautiful mix of orange and yellow. During this drive, the landscape presented a beautiful backdrop to a beautiful album. All of the colors and mixtures worked so well with the different elements of the album. This drive was able to jumpstart my understanding of the album as a whole.
Throughout the album, they are able to successfully use musical elements paired with the lyrics to achieve a more complete picture. The attention to detail and cleverness in Bambi puts a new, fresh perspective of someone dealing with the difficulties presented. Many of the nuances presented in the album lend themselves to an ingenious new way of explaining the struggles. These include the usage of starting a song over due to your own feelings of doubt within yourself as seen in Honestly and showing a chaotic struggle within oneself with Bubbles.
The band exemplifies their many different points not only through these small nuances, but through broader subjects as well. For example, the song Anxious is about dealing with Anxiety on a day to day basis, as well as everyone else’s expectations on that person. The song Bambi, which the album is named after, shows the feelings of the lead singer, Jake Luppen, and how he dealt with a loss of productivity, and the effects that it had on his relationships.
The musical stylings shown in Bambi show an important message that should be at a forefront today in our society. This album was very much needed as a way not only to understand others, but to do some better understanding of ourselves and our struggles. Despite this album being about mental health, it most definitely isn’t just about how difficult it is to go through it, it’s more about the understanding of how these issues are present and recognizing that they exist. The fact that they were able to vocalize this shows the amount of detail put into the different pieces, this is a triumph for the band. Although it seems like only a select amount of people could relate to this album, it has such a broad view that everyone can find at least one thing to connect with and feel understood, if even for a moment.