It looked as if Hippo Campus would be heading into next month’s South by Southwest Music Conference with ample record labels trying to woo them to their roster, as used to be the guiding m.o. of SXSW. Instead, the young but clearly ready-for-prime-time Twin Cities rockers will be going into Austin’s big hype-building festival as the newest signing by Grand Jury, the burgeoning New York label that’s also home to Chicago’s breaking fuzz-rockers Twin Peaks as well as Elliott Moss and Avid Dancer.
The deal was revealed by Grand Jury today along with a new video for the song “Souls” and a rather impressive list of six gigs Hippo Campus has booked during SXSW. One of their Austin gigs, for instance, is a party for the AV Club that has them sandiwched between the Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser and Real Estate in the lineup.
Grand Jury will re-release the quartet’s Alan Sparhawk-produced EP, “Bashful Creatures,” on May 5 (“Souls” is one of its six tracks). Another EP will soon follow, which the lads recorded last month under the same circumstances as the first, with Sparhawk at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls.
All still in the 19-20 age range and mostly just a year out of high school (click here for our November profile of them), Hippo Campus’ members will hit the road for their first tour right after SXSW, a month-long trek with California’s fun co-ed ensemble the Mowgli’s (coming April 3 to the Varsity). Before SXSW, they’re playing what is no doubt a well-paying promotional gig for Lagunitas Brewery at Aria Event Center on March 12, tickets for which can be obtained via Eventbrite.