Today’s Song: Hippo Campus’ “Bad Dream Baby” Is a Vibrant Vision

Hippo Campus © Brit O'Brien
Hippo Campus © Brit O'Brien
Memories of a childhood dog, the adolescent inhale of cigarettes, and forty-year-old men are the focus of Hippo Campus’ long awaited single, “Bad Dream Baby.”
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Stream: “Bad Dream Baby” – Hippo Campus




Beware the inescapable sound of bouncy-grunge: Hippo Campus’ latest, “Bad Dream Baby” is about a haunting.

This single marks the breaking of their two year silence and the announcing of their forthcoming EP, Good Dog, Bad Dream, to be released August 6th.

Bad Dream Baby - Hippo Campus
Bad Dream Baby – Hippo Campus
I’m gonna get you a big balloon
A box of chocolates and some cheap perfume
Happy Valentine’s day to you
Hope it’s better than mine because my dog’s about to die, yeah
Got her back when I was 15
My parents split up so they gave her to me
A consolation prize, a real dream
But she always liked my momma better
And I don’t even care what my best friends are doing
I’m in bed with the devil and I kinda need a drink
Let’s take a shot of holy water, lay it all to waste
I’m a bad dream, baby, and I’ll never go away
I’m a bad dream, baby, and I’ll never go away

“Bad Dream Baby” is different. It expands on what the band has previously shared in shades: a punk-infused sound adorned with the catchy guitar riffs and chorus harmonies the band is known for. This time the Sandman has come around with a slew of old and new troubles. Lead singer Jake Luppen sings of a Valentine’s Day ruined with the impending loss of a perfect pooch, the “Free Britney” movement, and a complicated relationship with family. The inner monologue writing style makes for an exciting listen, propelled by the pounding of the bass drum, melodic and rhythmic guitar parts, and syncopated bass line.

The track drives forward, masking the misery at hand with an infectious sound. True to their indie roots, Hippo Campus features the familiar and irresistible guitar parts, which dance around the single. The chorus is the ultimate celebration, when all the individual instruments come together to culminate in the final two lines, “I’m a bad dream, baby and I’ll never go away.” Taunted by imminent doom, the dream proves its pervasive power, demanding attention in every thought.

I’m worried about Britney Spears
It’s pretty fucked up how her dad runs her life
I wish my dad was more involved in mine
But not like that, really not like that, yeah
My girlfriend’s at Coco’s house
She’s basically the nicest person
Really wish I could be like that
But I’m not like that, really not like that, yeah
And I don’t even care what my best friends are doing
I’m in bed with the devil and I kinda need a drink
Let’s take a shot of holy water, lay it all to waste
I’m a bad dream, baby, and I’ll never go away
I’m a bad dream, baby, and I’ll never go away

The bridge marks an unexpected shift. A moment of silence precedes a nostalgic plea, as the entire band begs for the parties of the past and encounters with the forty-year old men they once hung out with. Echoes of instruments and distorted voices chant in resentment, “They always had my back/ But never had their own.” Luppen returns to his loss, asking “Kinda wonder what they’re doing now/ If they had dogs and they had to put ‘em down.” Clearly, the “bad dream” in question muddies every thought, inescapable through reasoning or self-consolation. It seems the only way to sweat it out is a headbanging session, one that Hippo Campus is more than happy to deliver. A flurry of words and sounds, the single encompasses the disturbing nature of the subconscious with a bustling train-of-thought.

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Stream: “Bad Dream Baby” – Hippo Campus



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Bad Dream Baby - Hippo Campus

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Hippo Campus © Brit O'Brien

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