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GRAND JURY MUSIC

Toledo

How It Ends

    Dan Álvarez de Toledo and Jordan Dunn-Pilz have a special bond. Growing up in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the two were fast and unshakable friends through sleepovers, school choir practices, and discovering formative bands, to the point that now, as roommates in Brooklyn, they finish each other’s sentences. This shared history and obvious love for each other are tangible in their songwriting project TOLEDO, named after the Spanish town and Álvarez’s familial namesake. Their music, which is full of seamless harmonies throughout, skirts the softer edges of indie rock and the darker fringes of pop with each song imbuing a heaping dose of vulnerability and emotional openness. On How It Ends, their debut album which is out September 23 via Grand Jury Music, the two dive into each other’s family histories and traumas as they navigate their own lives as twenty-something musicians. These tracks are striking for their blunt honesty but also for the way Álvarez and Dunn-Pilz’s real-life chemistry translates on record: the 12 songs are as tender as a warm hug and as clarifying as a needed reality check. This LP is the product of deep self-reflection and the necessary hard work that comes with any relationship.

    Hippo Campus

    LP3

      In the years between 2018’s BAMBI and LP3, Minneapolis’ Hippo Campus -- made up of vocalist/guitarists Jake Luppen and Nathan Stocker, drummer Whistler Allen, bassist Zach Sutton, and trumpeter DeCarlo Jackson -- has grown up and into itself. Although the five-piece has been friends since middle school and put out a number of studio releases since its inception, it’s the new record, LP3, that’s the most honest portrait of who Hippo Campus is. It’s also a study in the nuances of growing up -- coming to terms with mortality, the confusing journey of sexuality, bottoming out, seeing decisions from the night before in the harsh morning light; finding your identity as a person and as an artist -- how that can be a collision of elation and shame, painful and joyful all at once.

      LP3 marks a sort of ego death -- and ultimately feeling okay with that. So much of LP3 was written in the chasm between grappling with the value of your own art and the larger, chaotic context of the world. It traverses the end of relationships, of careers, and the chance of meeting yourself as a brand new person. If you take the signifier of “musician” away, what does it mean? And how do you expand your identity outside of work? Here, it’s something the band works through. And, in the end, it happens with the same ride-or-die crew at your back to hold you down -- or up -- the entire time.

      Over the last few years, the Hippo universe has expanded outward. Luppen and Stocker both put out solo records as Lupin and Brotherkenzie respectively, and the two also teamed up with Caleb Hinz to put out the debut Baby Boys record while DeCarlo Jackson founded, and collaborated with multiple bands around the Twin Cities, including DNM, Arlo, and FPA. Navigating solo projects and new dynamics and the spotlight alone is humbling, bringing up new insecurities and defense mechanisms. It was challenging in its own way to branch outside of Hippo -- and it made the eventual return to the project feel like coming home.

      “With LP3, Hippo felt like a very safe space to express those things because you have your best friends around you, rallying behind you,” Luppen says. “And each person could chime in with their own experience. I felt like it was a very safe space to be earnest.” Here, Hippo Campus killed what they knew and started again.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. 2 Young 2 Die
      2. Blew Its
      3. Ashtray
      4. Bang Bang
      5. Semi Pro
      6. Ride Or Die
      7. Scorpio
      8. Listerine
      9. Boys
      10. Understand

      Hovvdy

      True Love

        Austin indie folk duo make their Grand Jury debut with True Love. Recorded over winter 2020 in LA with Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver, etc.). This album is about growth and nostalgia. Both band members got married. One had a kid. They’ve found themselves individually away from the band, but settling into their most creatively fertile moment as a duo.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Sometimes
        2. True Love
        3. Lake June
        4. GSM
        5. Around Again
        6. Hope
        7. Joy
        8. One Bottle
        9. Blindsided
        10. Hue
        11. Junior Day League
        12. I Never Wanna Make You Sad

        Samia

        Scout

          Following the huge success of her The Baby and The Baby Reimagined albums, Samia's brand new EP 'Scout' showcases her diverse musical palate, traversing the plains of gloriously infectious pop and atmospheric indie before serving up a winsome ballad and a cover of When In Rome’s “The Promise” with Jelani Aryeh. This superb release marks an extremely successful year for Samia, who is also poised to go on tour with Sylvan Esso and Savannah Conley.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Beautifully woven melodies and brittle but beautiful vocals work together to create a soaring, melancholic juxtaposition of acoustic and electronic instrumentation. Glimpses of scattered percussion and perfectly applied saturation give 'Scout' an otherworldly, haunting dynamism.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. As You Are
          2. Show Up
          3. Elephant
          4. The Promise (Feat. Jelani Aryeh)

          Hippo Campus

          Good Dog, Bad Dream

            Good Dog, Bad Dream is the new EP from Hippo Campus, and the St. Paul, Minnesota five-piece's first new music since their 2018 sophomore album Bambi. It finds the band at their most honest and vulnerable to date, with five new intensely cathartic tracks tinged with confessions and dark humor. It's a collection of songs that came together with ease, and without pressure -- a wildly different experience than the typical Hippo Campus recording process. The band - made up of vocalist/guitarists Jake Luppen and Nathan Stocker, drummer Whistler Allen, bassist Zach Sutton, and trumpeter DeCarlo Jackson -- assembled Good Dog, Bad Dream with a genuine sense of freedom and enjoyment as part of their first sessions in their new Minneapolis studio space. It’s a celebration of brotherhood, and the “all for one, one for all” mentality that has permeated Hippo Campus’ work since the very beginning.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Bad Dream Baby
            2. Deepfake
            3. Sex Tape
            4. Where To Now
            5. Mojo Jojo


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