Release Date: Mar 4, 2014
Record label: Relativity
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop
For Norwegian five-piece Highasakite's UK debut LP (there was one in their native Norway in 2012, featuring the well-known 'Indian Summer'), they've gone dark. Unveiling an album that "focuses on the undercurrent that's going on behind closed doors; the silent battles at home, and the longing to get away," is a world away from the childhood naïveté and nostalgic leanings of prior endeavours, but no less astounding. Fans of enormous, blanketing, worldly Sin Fang/Of Monsters and Men type covens will be enthralled from start to finish.
The debut full-length from Norwegian outfit Highasakite is a real mixed bag of genres that are anything but simple to categorize, with adventurous soundscapes laden with intricate pop melodies dominated by the wonderful voice of Ingrid Håvik. The songs build behind her bold and intriguing vocals; they weave between the textured instrumentation provided by the other four members, who bring percussion, synths, and guitars to the mix. There are a few tell-tale signs of Håvik and drummer Trond Bersu's roots (forged at Trondheim Jazz Conservatory) as the bouncing rhythms and layered vocals take center stage on "Leaving No Traces," while Scandinavian influences are undeniable throughout.
This debut full length from the up-and-coming Norwegian band follows last year’s tantalizing EP by boosting the sound and drama that was already plentiful. Their’s is a widescreen sound, even in its most intimate moments, led by the hypnotic vocals of Ingrid Helene Håvik. Everything is bigger, bolder, slicker and more heavily reverbed than before as the band with the somewhat clichéd no-spaces-between-the-words-in-our name moniker (see Needtobreathe) maintains an indie, synth based, multi-layered approach that works the mystic, loud/soft dynamic with sing-along choruses and a sure feel for what makes a pop song seem weighty and significant.
At the time of writing, Norwegian quintet Highasakite are currently Number 1 in their homeland. Hopes are high then, as they make their way across to the UK with debut album Silent Treatment. On the face of it, it’s plain to see why they’ve enjoyed such success back home. Their songs are, for the most part, melodic, ambitious and expansive over the course of this album, though their frequent indulgences and idiosyncratic quirks become slightly wearing.
While their compatriots were dazzling the Sochi 2014 opening ceremony in silver flat caps and powder blue salopettes, Oslovian quintet Highasakite were playing at Tou Scene, a former Victorian brewery in Stavanger. Tou Scene is now a live music venue and artists’ residence and, situated a stone’s throw from the fjords of Norway’s Western coast, it may as well be the architectural embodiment of Silent Treatment. Like this record- Highasakite’s second following 2012?s All That Floats Will Rain- the building’s medieval revivalist style declares an industriousness on the frontier of a wild, glacial eternity.