High Highs were formed by Australians Jack Milas and Oli Chang a couple of years ago but they didn’t begin taking their music seriously until they moved to New York. Obviously, the move was an inspired one. Their new EP is characterised by hushed vocals, spare but echo-heavy production, crisp guitar lines and smooth keyboard washes.
Even considering its dreampop roots, ‘Flowers Bloom’ is still a heavenly listening experience. Against a backdrop of shimmering electronica, Milas’s blissful sighs float along effortlessly. Whereas that first track is slightly haunting, the acoustic-based ‘Open Season’ is more uplifting. There’s a real sense of wonder to the stripped back ‘Ivy’ as the intimacy of Milas is complimented by raindrop-evoking piano keys. In contrast, ‘Horses’ is the most dramatic moment, thanks largely due to its strident guitar work forming the pay-off when, for most bands, a chorus would suffice.
With support slots for Jose Gonzales and The Radio Dept already on their CV, one expects we will be hearing a lot more from High Highs in the future. Happily, this is a band who live up to the lofty ambitions of their name too.
Arnold, Beach House