The High Places’ first release on Thrill Jockey is a collection of singles and hard-to-find tracks leading up to their signing. This release stands as an introduction to the collaboration of Robert Barber and Mary Pearson. Barber provides a babbling brook of cut-and-paste drum circle riddims propelling the paper boats of Pearson’s innocent iko-ikoish jumprope chants. Daycare psychedelica for the Thomas the Tank Engine set, if you will.
At times the at once atmospheric and Caribbean feel of the songs reminds me of my favorite parts of Adventures in the Ultraworld by the Orb.
The cover art used in this release is exactly the same as the band’s 2007 High Places EP 7″ (only 300 made) on Ancient Almanac that earned an impressive 8.2 at Pitchfork. All four songs from that EP are represented here along with some harder to find tracks including “Jump In” which was a song commissioned for an elementary school music program. It seems to me that this band isn’t entirely inappropriate to play for the little ones, in fact, and certainly a bit more interesting that some of the kid fodder dolled out today.
The band is currently on tour gearing up for their self-titled release on 9/23. You can hear two songs– “Golden” and “From Stardust to Sentience” from that release if you visit the band’s MySpace page. They also have some downloads available, too.They will be stopping in Grinnell College at Bob’s Underground Cafe on Thursday, 9/25 and at The Mill in Iowa City on Friday, 9/26 where they will be with Ponytail and Wet Hair.