High Places Original Colors

High Places Original Colors
Water, or its absence, takes symbolic lead across High Places' third collection of compact and complex electro-pop songs. Whether it's in the decay of "brackish water swirling around in the basin… left in the yard," from opener "Year Off," or the elemental beauty of bright blue water encircling vocalist Mary Pearson's feet in "Banksia," liquid engages sense memory and geographic locators alike. Text is mirrored by the echo chamber drips and wash of filter sweeps that surf through the locks of syncopated beats she and Rob Barber have carefully constructed. In rigid technical execution, the music owes a debt to everything from UK garage to Detroit techno, but the overlay of mood and atmosphere features a continuous interpolation of dusk to dawn highlights that keep the colours and shadows swirling. And although the duo's art rock side is a little masked by the shudder from the deep bass pulse, it still pumps blood through the backbeat. (Thrill Jockey)