High Places High Places vs. Mankind

High Places High Places vs. Mankind
High Places vs. Mankind, the second LP from L.A.-cum-Brooklyn duo High Places, conjures up images of life on the beach. But as their album art (featuring photos of musty seaweed and sea foam) suggests, it's not the same sunny shores Brian Wilson once sang about. Fittingly, on High Places vs. Mankind, multi-instrumentalists Rob Barber and Mary Pearson hone their brand of murky, reverb-soaked chill-out indie rock, with songs like "She's a Wild Horse" and instrumentals "The Channon" and "Drift Slayer" continuing to wave the dream pop flag high. But it's the pong-induced-ping of "On Giving Up" and "Constant Winter" that shows the duo shrewdly pushing Pearson's vocals high into the mix, filling the gap with increased layers of swelling effects and vertigo-inducing harmonies. High Places vs. Mankind is a step forward for a group already producing fashionable and satisfying music, a manifesto of an album that shouts, "come on in, the water's not as cold as it looks!" (Thrill Jockey)