High Highs’ debut album Open Season is stunning. Fresh off the press on January 25, Open Season is a dreamy exploration in folk pop from Australian duo Jack Milas and Oli Chang. High Highs is currently based out of Brooklyn, New York, but is back home for the Laneway Festival tour and the launch of their album.
High Highs’ music is hard to classify, and I dig that it’s so elusive. It sits somewhere on the spectrum between folk and electronica, with wistful melodies overlaid by delicate, syrupy vocals. Each of the tracks is slightly heavier on some genre elements than others, creating undulating variation across the length of Open Season.
I usually like to talk about some favourite tracks but High Highs have got me stumped with this album. The changeable blend of sounds throughout the album gives me different reasons to appreciate each track individually. Opening tracks ‘Dey’ and ‘Milan’ are atmospheric and dreamy, while ‘Flowers Bloom’ and ‘Phone Call’ have more of an electronic focus, ‘Open Season’ is an upbeat folk pop track (do I hear handclaps or is it wishful thinking?), ‘Bridge’ is heavier on the folk, while ‘White Water’ and ‘Once Around The House’ are stripped back and starkly melodic. You get the idea.
The more I listen to High Highs the more I get out of their music. High Highs has harnessed the nostalgia of 70s folk with 80s electronica and current indie pop to create a debut album that feels innovative and fresh. I’ve always been a sucker for an enigma.
For more High Highs, check out acid stag’s interview with Oli Chang here, or get yourself along to see High Highs at Oxford Art Factory in Sydney tonight or one of the St. Jerome’s Laneway festivals over the next few weeks.