This group needs little introduction because the music really speaks for itself. A beautiful 5-piece indie/pop band made in Norway and wowing audiences across the globe. You won’t want to overlook this Gem.
Norway’s Highasakite make an adventurous brand of indie pop that is full of contrasts. Their melodies and instrumentation are bold yet sometimes understated, the ebbing of one allowing the other to flourish; whether it’s otherworldly vocals or the dynamic combination of synthesizers, brass and percussion. Following on from numerous international festival appearances, a tour with London Grammar and the EP ‘In And Out Of Weeks’, the quintet released their US debut album, ‘Silent Treatment’ in February this year (Nº1 on the Norweigan charts).
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NPR music writes: “The song titles on their 2014 album Silent Treatment seem more like chapter headings in a crime novel.” This sounds pretty cool to us, but what’s your take on this review? Was this the type of impression intended?
I don’t think we intended it to be like that, but it is kind of cool. The music is written as music and the titles referring to the music, but I like the fact that people interpret the music and lyrics their own way!
Speaking of names, you chose an intriguing one for your debut album. How exactly did you come to calling it Silent Treatment?
It was the subject of a longer discussion and we had many thoughts about titles. But Silent Treatment refers a lot to the lyrics and mood of the album.
Exciting stuff happening at the minute, you are going to be officially performing back in the US as of November 4th, starting with New York. What’s the atmosphere like at the moment within the band? Also, have you developed any quirky must-dos before heading out on stage? (Be it a handshake, prayer, group hug or is it just prep, prep, prep and GO?)
We’re a bit tired right now, it’s been a busy year for us touring since January, but we’re so excited about going back to the US. It’s one of our absolute favourite spots to tour and New York is always amazing!
We have a small hand shakey thing we do just before we go on stage. Trond and I also have to brush our teeth before each show, it’s been a thing for 9 years now!
Have you noticed any differences in the audiences you perform to in your homeland of Norway versus audiences overseas?
Well, of course the Norwegian audience know us and our songs a lot better, but we’ve been really lucky with the audiences overseas. Especially in Australia and Asia. Japanese audiences are a lot more quiet and the American audiences are more direct with their response.
Can you tell us a bit about the creating process when composing an original track… Is there a main influence? Who does what?
Ingrid (vocals) writes the main parts of the songs and brings it to the band. Then we work together, bringing all of our influences into each song. It’s a lot of hard work being five individual people with a lot of ideas and opinions, but it’s also a really good period in which the band strengthens.
What was it like touring alongside London Grammar earlier this year?
Touring with LG was amazing. Great people, great crew and great venues. It really opened a lot of doors for us and was great seeing LG every night for two weeks!
Do you have a particular show or performance so far that really stands out? If so, what was particularly memorable about this one?
There has been so many this year, but maybe our release show at Rockefeller in Oslo, the first show in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, and a couple of the shows at the LG. All of them stand out because of the audience, the venue and the vibe in the band.
Okay, spill the beans, who’s the cheekiest in the group?
We’re not spilling beans 🙂
A lot of people can be found raving about Kristoffe’s amazing horn-playing. They want to know if it’s going to be used more in your future songs and performances. After watching a clip of your Tiny Desk Concert we can see what they’re referring to. So, more horn playing to come?
First off, thank you for the kind words. Second off, of course there will be more horn playing!
The more we learn about your band, the more impressed we become. So tell us, collectively, how many instruments can you guys play?
Haha, well we all play a bit since we’re all jazz educated musicians. But let’s not count, let’s rather surprise people when more instruments appear on stage.
What’s the hardest part about all this traveling that you do? As well as the greatest part.
Hardest part is being a way from loved ones. That’s difficult, but a part of the job. The fun part is of course seeing new places, playing for new people, meeting new people and eating good food!
If you could pick one word to describe your sound, what would it be?
Finally, we have found, the profound yet tingling sensation of music emitted by Highasakite, has in fact left us, the listener, feeling high as a kite. In the best way. What does it mean to you when you discover people are experiencing your sound in this way?
It means a lot to us. We’re just so happy that people experience things with our music and that they come to us and say it!
Highasakite chose our Sunday Sessions this week. Click here for the playlist!
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