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Album Review: High Highs - Open Season

23 January 2013 | 2:27 pm | Cate Summers

Unfortunately, as a whole the album failed to conjure any strong emotional response, and ended up being a pretty but somewhat forgettable listening experience.

Open Season, the debut LP from Sydney-bred, Brooklyn-based duo High Highs is a very beautiful album to listen to. The dreamy, ethereal quality of their songs – from the pretty, piano opener Dey to the stripped back, acoustic closer Pines – forms a stunning and carefree album as a whole. The songs seamlessly move from one to another, creating cohesiveness that is impressive for a debut release.

Having mastered the sound of wistful synths, pulsing keyboards and controlled, echoing vocals on Flowers Bloom, the lads also prove they are capable of catchier songs with the upbeat and absolutely lovely Open Season. Similarly, the harmony on new single In A Dream is an absolute kicker, with that catchy chorus saving a song that otherwise was neither here nor there.

Listening to Open Season, with its heavenly harmonies and dreamy instrumentals, you can't deny the beauty of the album; however, it's almost just as easy to forget as it is to listen to. While lovely music, there aren't enough moments on Open Season that resonate strongly enough to leave a solid, lasting impression. When tracks like White Water, are watered-down (pun intended) to slow chords and languid vocals, it doesn't make for a memorable tune, and unfortunately for High Highs, there are quite a few of these white-washed instances.

High Highs obviously started on Open Season with a particular sound in mind, and they have really nailed it on the head. The cohesiveness of this album is fantastic, and there are some truly bliss-worthy moments to be had. Unfortunately, as a whole the album failed to conjure any strong emotional response, and ended up being a pretty but somewhat forgettable listening experience.

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