High Places, 'High Places vs. Mankind' (Thrill Jockey)

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High Places vs. Mankind
Critical Mass
Label: Thrill Jockey

by Abigail Everdell

This Los Angeles–via-Brooklyn duo, known for wide-eyed naturalism and home-crafted, sample-based songwriting, explore an edgier mood on their second album. Rob Barber intensifies the band's trademark polyrhythms with snappy post-punk bass and eerie dub echoes on disco-leaning tracks like "On Giving Up," while singer Mary Pearson eschews lyrics about happy trees for stories of loneliness and alienation. "I am a plant beaten down by the weather / I've been too long in hibernation," she laments on "Constant Winter."

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