I first heard about Hippo Campus in the beginning of August when they played Chicago’s Lollapalooza to a group of extremely stoked, midwestern kids. The Minnesota-bred foursome comes from a state that was crucial to the guitar-driven genre in which they operate, and they are way proud of its history and contemporary acts. Recently, they were stoked about the fact that fellow Minnesotan artists, Atmosphere, Jeremy Messersmith, Low, and Trampled by Turtles all tweeted their support after the young band’s first late night performance. They love where they are from.
The reason their track “Violet” is so great, however, is that it takes into account the idea of also being ashamed of your home, and how you reconcile that with a profound sense of pride. Listen to the driving, catchy track below, and pay close attention to all the concerted visual decisions.
In the Connor Gilhooly-directed video above, we see the band members performing, isolated from one another in individual frames, with stark backgrounds and occasional shots of iconic American objects: a football helmet, a sundae, fireworks. Gradually, anonymous arms begin to destroy all these objects with extreme prejudice. Like most bands with something interesting to say, Hippo Campus are both proud of where they came from and vexed by its glaring contradictions. “Violet reflects a youthful distaste with typical American capitalist standards,” the band says. “The video is used as a vehicle to take American symbols and destroy them in grandiose ‘revelatory’ ways. Delve into the angst.” Happily.
Featured Image via Hippo Campus