High Places quietly slip onto the stage and begin in an almost tentative manner after a softly spoken introduction. It seems their dreamy almost tropical take on pop songs is also representative of the pair as characters. The vocals at times range from a taint restrained murmur to floating, trance-like melodies that float throughout the venue like a lost soul. Interestingly, although two guitars are played, they are never once strummed, just persistently picked to create almost funk-like rhythms. The set dips between moments of stark, bleak instrumentation and fully blown electronic-infused pop – at times to glorious effect and others to a slightly underwhelming outcome. When it works, it really does; it amalgamates the subtleties and delicacies of ambient electronic music with stomp-your-foot, in-your-face beats that never over shadow the fragile undertones. When it works less well, it simply meanders rather than moves and it can get bogged down in its own mid-tempo slog. However, for its slight inconsistencies it’s still a rewarding and engaging show from an inventive duo.
By Daniel Dylan Wray
Originally published in issue 17 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. May 2010