Hippo Campus, a group of Twin Cities indie rockers, released their latest EP, South, on October 2 via Grand Jury Music and shocked indie audiences everywhere. Although it’s been well past a month since the release, I can’t stop listening to it.

I first saw Hippo Campus at the Dallas House of Blues when they opened for The Mowglis, and they were extraordinary. The quartet opened up with the phrase, “How many of you have heard of us?” The room was silent. “That’s more than usual!” Jake Luppen yelled back and the crowd went wild. From then on they rocked the house during their set of Bashful Creatures. As soon as they took the stage I knew they were going to make it big. Here’s why: they’re authentic. In today’s music world where auto-tune and EDM-pop crossovers take up most of theradio’s air time, it’s becoming more difficult to find bands that know their instruments like they know each other. One of Hippo Campus’ points as a group is their ability to jam. Now, as a musician, nothing is better than playing music and having fun while doing it. As an audience member, nothing is more important than the synergy of band members. What impressed me was Whistler Allen’s ability to stay involved with his friends, too many times I’ve seen bands play and all the focus gets placed on the lead singer and he/she is the star of the show and that’s it. Throughout Hippo Campus’ entire set the entire band jammed along to one another, signaling breaks in music, solos, and exhibiting plain enjoyment.

The band met in high school in 2013 and still have the same team: Jake Luppen, Nathan Stocker, Zach Sutton, and Whistler Allen. They have continued to grow as a group and have been featured on SIRIUS XM’s Alt Radio, and several other stations. Cheerleader recently released a remix of “Suicide Saturday” that explored a rock remix that hasn’t been done in quite awhile. They’ve performed on Conan, at Lollapalooza, and are on tour right now.  It has been such a pleasure watching one of the small Indie bands that I love blossom into a full force group to be reckoned with. Their high energy live sets, music, and genuineness will continue to carry them towards the stardom they deserve. Out of all the bands I like to follow, Hippo Campus has truly stunned me in this day and age.

Check out their latest EP, South here.