Journey to High Places (Echo, January 22, 2009)

high places
Photos courtesy John Bollozos at The Fader.

High Places is the kind of band that you want to be best friends with. The band is composed of just two members, Robert Barber and Mary Pearson, the latter of whom is so damn cute it kind of doesn’t matter if she’s talented or not. Lucky for the rest of us, she actually has a super sweet voice, just perfect for the band’s innocent and cute-but-not-cutesy lyrics. At the High Places’ show at the Echo last Thursday the band again has proven themselves to be more than the single hipster’s wet dream.

By incorporating what essentially adds up to drum and bass undertones, High Places is a great band for people who have long been indie music followers, but who also used to be ravers in high school. Add in a dash of jungle sounds—rain sticks, recorded bird calls, and several pan pipes—and you’ve got the Rafi-cum-Hot Chip sound of High Places. Cuteness factor aside, High Places is a fucking cool band. Although the two opening acts of the night, Hecuba and Infinite Body, have similar set-ups—namely less than 3 members, and using computer/mixing board things—High Places creates a sound that is entirely unique, pure, and just downright feel-good. There is some inexplicable element of the band’s sound which makes you feel as though you’re six years-old and exploring the warm, sunny floor of the Amazonian rainforest with your pet unicorn and a handful of celery with peanut butter. It’s this childlike wonder that the band produces which makes them so damn enjoyable to watch.

As Barber informed the audience on Thursday night, the band has recently relocated to LA from Brooklyn, so you can expect lots more shows from them in the upcoming months. Does High Places’ move to the West coast suggest that the hot bed of awesome new musical acts has shifted to the West coast as well? Let’s hope so; I’m so over bands from the suburbs claiming to be from Brooklyn. But, Williamsburg or Sunset Junction, all’s fair in love and music, and as far as I’m concerned, High Places is so genuinely awesome that they’re able to transcend the old east coast/west coast feud once and for all.


» Photos: High Places @ F Yeah Fest 2008 by Sung