The High Highs EP

The High Highs aren’t lo-fi bedroom music-makers, dour emo-envying nu-shoegazers, or 80s synth-pop revivalists. So, they already have got something going for them. They’re a collective. So, presumably, while one of them is writing a song, another is washing the dishes. They have also recently released a 4-song EP. Melodic, catchy, well orchestrated. They have an earlyish Grizzly Bear vibe going on, though without the craft of, say, On A Neck, On A Spit. The two earliest songs, ‘Open Season’ and ‘Flowers Bloom’, are immediate. You’ll like them after just a few notes, if you like bands with an earlyish Grizzly Bear vibe going on. The newer songs, ‘Ivy’ and ‘Horses’, show a certain development. ‘Ivy’ is slower, more contemplative. It works. ‘Horses’ is, as far as I can figure it out, a song about, well, horses. It works too. So far, the High Highs have produced 13 minutes of really good music. On this showing, a whole album would be a bit dull, mainly because the singer, Jack Milas, has a vocal range that would make a chicken coop seem large. However, if they can flourish in a way that Grizzly Bear have done, then they will be worth staying with.

The High Highs official site

The Black Keys – El Camino

This is an album that doesn’t overstay its welcome. 11 songs. 38 minutes. No solo frills. No long drawn-out endings. Just the beat, the melody and that’s it. Move on. Everything about this about is tight, except the feeling it creates. You will not be able to get some of the tunes out of your head. You will want to dance or at least throw some neat air-guitar shapes. Sure, the lyrics are sixth-form standard, or maybe Dan Auerbach really has had a series of girls that he’s loved and lost (and pretty quickly by the sounds of it). Yes, the influences are there for everyone to hear. Is that a Led Zeppelin riff? Was that T-Rex? Actually, no, it was Sweet. Ballroom Blitz anyone? But, so what? This is a great album. A bit like one of Dan Auerbach’s seeming relationships, you’ll want to move on pretty quickly. But, in the time that you live with this album, it’ll take you over.

The Black Keys official site