10 Songs, 30 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

New York duo High Places makes music that is intimate and quirky. Using digital tools to create loops, samples and treated sounds, Mary Pearson and Robert Barber also use handheld percussion instruments, banjos, bells and guitars in creating their delightful aural treats. Water is frequently evoked, from the ebb and flow feel of their music to slightly surreal sounds (dripping, trickling rhythms) in songs like “You In Forty Years.” Veering between a sort of tropical vibe (are those steel drums in “The Tree With the Lights In It”?) to a more tribal one, peppered with wooden percussion instruments and treated kalimba ping-ponging gently around Mary Pearson’s sing-song voice, this duo is as fearless and playful as preschoolers who find delight in simple things. Why not use mixing bowls and plastic bags — alongside shakers and a 12-string guitar — to make music? “Vision’s The First…” bubbles with a sensual, Middle Eastern and African-influenced energy, while “From Stardust to Sentience” rattles and shakes like a benevolent serpent, dancing against a nighttime sky. This home-recorded, full-length debut (High Places: 03/07- 09/07 is a collection of singles) is startlingly fluid and expressive; perfect evening music after a long day.

EDITORS’ NOTES

New York duo High Places makes music that is intimate and quirky. Using digital tools to create loops, samples and treated sounds, Mary Pearson and Robert Barber also use handheld percussion instruments, banjos, bells and guitars in creating their delightful aural treats. Water is frequently evoked, from the ebb and flow feel of their music to slightly surreal sounds (dripping, trickling rhythms) in songs like “You In Forty Years.” Veering between a sort of tropical vibe (are those steel drums in “The Tree With the Lights In It”?) to a more tribal one, peppered with wooden percussion instruments and treated kalimba ping-ponging gently around Mary Pearson’s sing-song voice, this duo is as fearless and playful as preschoolers who find delight in simple things. Why not use mixing bowls and plastic bags — alongside shakers and a 12-string guitar — to make music? “Vision’s The First…” bubbles with a sensual, Middle Eastern and African-influenced energy, while “From Stardust to Sentience” rattles and shakes like a benevolent serpent, dancing against a nighttime sky. This home-recorded, full-length debut (High Places: 03/07- 09/07 is a collection of singles) is startlingly fluid and expressive; perfect evening music after a long day.

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About High Places

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 to endangered species. High Places got their break when the Pitchfork music website reviewed their EP and gave the CD a favorable rating, giving Barber and Pearson instant attention. That winter, a West Coast tour with similar-minded artists the Blow and Mirah followed, while High Places' first album remained unfinished. In July of 2008, Thrill Jockey made the band's collection of singles 03/07-09/07 available on CD, and High Places made plans to embark on a summer tour with No Age before releasing their self-titled debut full-length on September 23. After moving to Los Angeles and revamping their sound to include more traditional instrumentation, High Places released their second album, High Places vs. Mankind, in April of 2010. Their third studio album, Original Colors, took a more glossy electro approach and was released in the fall of 2011. ~ Jason Lymangrover

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