High Places manage to sound unassuming (nondescript, even) yet also evocative and persistently interesting. There isn’t much breathing room on ‘High Places Vs Mankind’ – every spare millisecond is filled with some kind of sound, in a relentless tirade of sea breeze vocals and floating melodies that are tied together with fragmented drumbeats throughout. At times it stutters somewhat in its reserved approach, yet more often than not it marvels in it (‘Canada’ is a beautifully refined, almost enchanting number that recalls Mazzy Star at their fragile best). It’s textural to the point that it almost exudes the elements themselves, feeling like you are listening to the thing underwater, submerged in the studio with them. It’s all rather challenging as listens go but stick with its contradictions and it’s a gloriously rewarding one.

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