After 2016’s ‘Camp Echo’, the folk drenched band Highasakite switched gears dramatically, shifting their focus from light synth work to heavy beats and a club-pop vibe. In terms of breaking through, it certainly worked for them and it garnered a lot of new fans whilst still keeping their mystic and origins just present enough to keep original fans pleased too. ‘Uranium Heart’ see’s Highasakite take the best of both sides and merge them together.
‘Too Early’ signals the change of the air with its dreamy electric keyboards and vocal centrality. It has all the quirky eastern tweaks that previous albums have had, but here things are more laid back. The album itself is decidedly more mid-tempo and sweeping in its sound design and this track is a signal of intent.
Putting their synth indie pop foot forward, three absolutely blinding tracks come thick and fast. ‘Revolution’, ‘I Call Bullshit’ and in particular, ‘Mexico’ are all pop tracks with traditional folk roots. For former and later relish in the space that each track creates to allow the vibe. It owes a lot to 80’s production sounds but minus the overproduction. These are songs to wave lighters and mobile screens to, alongside the anthem in waiting ‘Out of Order’ that comes later on in the album.
After the short interlude of ‘Mexico Pt 2’ it is as if the album shifts gears back to the Norwegians bands roots. ‘Hail of Bullets’ starts with the integration of electric guitar heavily into the main thrust of each track and the cinematic percussion and synth runs make each time Ingrid’s lovely voice fade feel like we’re on an epic journey. That continues into the superb ‘Egomaniac’ which is this albums ‘Hiroshima’ or ‘Chernobyl’ – where it’s a dramatic lumbering behemoth of a track that’s ready to gut punch you.
It’s delightful thought how country folk the title track is. It’s a beautifully upbeat ditty with a catchy chorus and plenty of warm even if the lyrics are sad ones. This was the kind of acoustic-based indie pop that Highasakite initially gained me as a fan with, so it’s a great nod to the past that made me smile. The album closes with the quiet ‘Stick With You’ that mirrors the echoing of the opening track as the space around us gently pulses and sizzles.
Whilst ‘Uranium Heart’ is possibly the least
Recommended track: Mexico
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