Hippo Campus: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Hippo Campus: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

For most people, the records that shaped them were first acquired in high school. The same is true for Nathan Stocker, guitarist and vocalist for Minnesota band Hippo Campus — however, high school wasn’t that long ago for Stocker. The musician graduated in 2013.

Stocker met his band mates around that time at a high school for the performing arts, forming Hippo Campus and going on to play big fests like Lollapalooza, South by Southwest, and Reading and Leeds. They released their debut LP, Landmark, this year, a bouncy, pop-tinged album that meshes well with the ethos of former tour mates Modest Mouse, JR JR and My Morning Jacket.

On a recent jaunt to New York, Stocker gave us a call from the van to chat about some records that changed his life.

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A Winged Victory for the Sullen, A Winged Victory for the Sullen

It’s probably one of the most visceral things I’ve ever listened to. I’m not really sure how I came across that. It might have been a YouTube hole or something like that where you just keep clicking. They’ve come out with some other stuff since then that’s pretty good, too. But I highly recommend this one.

Gregory Alan Isakov, The Weatherman

This came out in 2013, which was the year we graduated high school. Pretty much any record that came out in 2013 is going to have some sort of sentiment to me, but I’d been a fan of Gregory for a while so at that point it was like, ‘You came in clutch, bro, for narrating my senior year.’ He’s pretty boss.

The Dodos, Visiter

That came out the beginning of high school. It kind of introduced me to a more commercial style of guitar playing in the finger-style realm. [Meric Long is] a chicken-picking guy; he’s just insane. They’re one of the most underrated San Francisco indie bands of all time, in my opinion. That was on repeat forever. Still is.

Abba, The Essential Collection 

I grew up listening to [Abba]. That was always on repeat around the house. It was probably one of my [windows] into writing, or the more pop side of writing.

PUP, The Dream is Over 

That album [was a comeback] for emo music and that side of punk, or whatever punk is. That record’s pretty good; it gave me some feels. It just came out of the blue, too. That video for ‘Sleep in the Heat,’ but it’s heartbreaking.

(Photo credit: Devin Smith)

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