Published May 09, 2013If It's Real is the debut full-length from the Simone Schmidt-led psych-country outfit the Highest Order. But as textured as the sound of the record is, it's the personal nature of the tracks that holds If It's Real together.
"Everything I write is inspired by personal events," principal songwriter and vocalist Schmidt tells Exclaim! "The people and politics that make up those events will compel me to write a narrative or assume a given character and voice in song. Or they'll make me want to excavate a metaphor to a new depth."
Guitarist Paul Mortimer goes one further, explaining what inspired one of the more resonating tracks on If It's Real. "'Sacred Team,'" he admits, "is just about the loneliness that comes with missing a dear friend; definitely inspired by some personal events as well as paranoia, the weather, dreams, etc."
Born out of the ashes of one of Canada's most promising folk acts, One Hundred Dollars, the Highest Order showcase a maturity within their songwriting heard in the cyclical nature of If It's Real. Mortimer asserts that the record "feels like it changes seasonally throughout, starting and ending in the summer. 'Lonely Weekends' and 'Rainbow of Blues' always feel muggy and hot to me, and 'Chain Mail' and '200 Pounds' always feel cold and dark. 'Sacred Team' comes full circle. So seasonally, it kind of works all year round."
Fans will get to experience that in person when the Highest Order trek off on their newly announced tour of Western Canada. Following a few more Ontario dates this month, the band will make their way to the West Coast, playing shows in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC along the way. You can check out the full schedule below.
If It's Real is out now on Idée Fixe Records.
5/9 London, ON - Apk
5/10 Windsor, ON - Fm Lounge
5/24 Toronto, ON - The Silver Dollar
6/13 Winnipeg, MB - The Park Theatre
6/14 Saskatoon, SK - Mosofest
6/15 Edmonton, AB - The Empress
6/19 Lloydminster, AB - The Root
6/20 Calgary, AB - Sled Island
6/21 Calgary, AB - Sled Island
6/22 Vancouver, BC - Anti-social
6/23 Victoria, BC - The Copper Owl
6/26 Sirdar, BC - The Sirdar Pub
6/27 Leduc, AB - Burnsy's
6/29 Regina, SK - O' Hanlon's *
* with the Besnard Lakes