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Posted Aug 8th, 2012 (5:29 pm) by Daniel Rivera
high highs, once around the house, jack milas, oli change, zachary lipkins

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7/10
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Church music isn't necessarily a genre one is wont to hear, but exuberant indie acts have helped spawn a new wave of reflective exuberance that is by no means religious. One such group making such forward-thinking folk is High Highs.

High Highs was originally the "mucking around" of songwriter Jack Milas and producer Oli Cheng who met each other at a recording studio in Sydney. The two played a couple of gigs down under before both moving to Brooklyn and eventually teaming up with drummer Zachary Lipkins. The band is managed by Elton John's Rocket Records and is set to release their full-length debut in January of next year.

"Once Around the House" opens sparsely with but singing and some strumming. There is longing in Milas' quavering voice, chillingly bent by empty surroundings. As if writing the score for the last man on Earth, HH manages to find the junction of loneliness and despair in but a few bars. Yet before Milas can finish mourning, a drum picks up and so does the mood. Where there was only pensiveness, elan now resonates. Such verve cannot carry on without end, though, and once HH reaches polyphony, they quickly return to the resonance of the song's beginning.

One can't help but notice the sonic similarities to bands such as Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver, yet HH stands apart for its devotion to blitheness. Indeed, HH cares not for the mood of the world. It wants only joy, the dolorous be damned. Now that is some music I'd build a church for.

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