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Original Colors

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Album Review

High Places' third album finds the duo of Rob Barber and Mary Pearson all the more comfortable and assured in a realm of moody electronic pop for the 21st century, at once drawing on familiar roots and putting distinct, enjoyable spins on the results. Beginning with the commanding "Year Off," punchy beats and murky tones offsetting Pearson's calm, sweeter but still slightly lost and forlorn singing, Original Colors shudders with a crackling energy. The sense of understatement that prevails is one of High Places' strongest qualities; instead of pop-as-sprawling-immediacy, or even the minimal focus of an act like the xx, Original Colors feels slippery and strange, echo and swathes of unidentifiable sound filling in the spaces between the nervous beats and bass pulses. Thus "Morning Ritual" may have the bass drops that U.S. dubstep has made cartoonishly familiar, but with Pearson's singing and an air for atmospherics, it feels more like a Burial remix than, say, Skrillex. "Dry Lake"'s echoed acid pulse and "Sonora"'s steadier, dub echo-tinged roil make for perfectly contrasting numbers, the bass sample breakdown in the latter a high point. The straight instrumental of "Ahead Stop" sounds like a lost bit of burbling atmospherics from 4AD or Nettwerk circa 1987, echoed rolling drums and samples making it all the more uneasy, while "Twenty Seven" is almost all Pearson's voice, a little twist before the sleek conclusion of "Altos Lugares."

Customer Reviews

High high high !!!

awesome YES YES YES !!!


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...
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Original Colors, High Places
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