The High Highs are an indie rock band from Sydney, Australia, now living in New York. Band mates Jack Milas and Oli Chang grew up living right around the corner from each other. However, they didn't actually meet until Chang heard Milas singing for another band while they were both recording for separate projects at the same studio.
They released a few singles and a self-titled EP, but it took them about 4 years to finish all of the tracks that they would release on their full-length album Open Season, which debuted in 2012. Use the Spotify player below to sample Open Season or support the artists and download Open Season from iTunes or Bandcamp.
This deluxe version of the album was released a year later and it includes a few bonus tracks and remixes. Most notably, is a cover of A Real Hero from the Drive soundtrack. Here is the original song by College featuring Electric Youth.
Their sound is ethereal, driven by warm synths and soft vocals, like a calling from a cozy place off in the distance. It's easy to pick out the individual instruments that they've synthesized if you're listening, but the mix is so good that nothing stands out more than it should. I'm a web developer in my day job and I often put this album on when I need to drown out the world and crank through some code. Everything feels beautifully and intricately subtle. It's also a great album to listen to on a early Fall morning run...if you're into that sort of thing.
The basis of their music begins with an analog synthesizer. They record vocals and instruments like the harmonium, glockenspiel, mandolin, etc. so that they can have them all available on multiple synths for live shows and studio recording. When playing live, Sean Hutchinson joins as a session drummer to fill out their sound. Here's a video of High Highs playing in the Music Feeds Studio back in 2013.
In October of 2014, High Highs released a 4-song EP Ocean to City, showing that they've continued to write new music. Check out their official video for Ocean to City.
My hope is that we won't have to wait four more years for another full-length album. With Chang working on a new side project called ANIMAL FEELINGS, who knows when High Highs will drop something new.
There are currently no scheduled live shows, but if you want to stay in the loop you can follow High Highs at any of their active profiles/sites below.