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03.07 - 09.07

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Album Review

The High Places sound is a bubbly, frothy mix of tribal beats, light percussion, spacy samples, and the sweet-as-pie vocals of Mary Pearson. She and Robert Barber create a sound that is both sophisticated and childlike, and the songs are short and catchy but by no means simplistic. There is real craft behind their sound that can be lost in the seemingly primitive electronics. The duo no doubt spent a long time working to find the right blend of acoustic instruments and loops and bleeps. It pays off richly and the songs have the feel of highly polished gems. "Universe" is the highlight of the record, as Pearson's vocal careens around like a cute kid dancing happily at a birthday party and the music spins and whirls behind her. Really, the whole record feels like that. It's hard to imagine anyone hearing this band or this record and not coming away with a smile or, at the very least, a warm feeling. This collection of their singles released between March and September 2007 (plus three harder-to-find tracks) is an entrancing introduction to the band, and it stokes the fires of anticipation for their first full-length album. Thrill Jockey is lucky to have the High Places, and fans of smart, pretty folktronic world psychedelia (or whatever you care to call it) are lucky, too.


Formed: 2006 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

One of many boy/girl indie electro duos formed in 2006, Rob Barber and Mary Pearson of Brooklyn's High Places approach recording with creative abandon, experimenting with offbeat production techniques like random microphone positioning, pitch shifting, delays, and saturated blankets of reverb to create danceable layers of sound. Playful and peppy, their beats incorporate sparse and hypnotic tribal rhythms, with lyrics that incorporate unusually innocent topics like love letters to Martians and apologies...
Full Bio
03.07 - 09.07, High Places
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