Song of the Day: High Places – Dry Lake

from their recent in-studio session at KEXP
photo by Nate Watters

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Dry Lake” by High Places from the 2011 album Original Colors on Thrill Jockey.

High Places – Dry Lake (MP3)

LA by way of Brooklyn’s High Places have been touring almost constantly since their inception in 2006. Born from the minds of Rob Barber and Mary Pearson, the duo performed for a solid two years before their signing with Thrill Jockey, which gave them ample time to fine-tune what would eventually become their first album. Three years later sees the pair celebrating the release of their third full-length, Original Colors, and sees them at the top of their game, crafting the psychedelic electronic pop that their fans have come to love. Today’s selection, “Dry Lake,” is a percussive jam that layers dense atmospheric drums over Pearson’s gentle vocals, showing off her singing prowess while a troupe of pulsing beats flutter by. It’s a clear demonstration of the band’s love of layers and manipulation, with reverb-soaked steel drum hits bouncing through the song while a club beat keeps the pace and minimal synth tones texture the background.

High Places were just in Seattle last month. If you missed them, you can go back an listen to their recent KEXP session on our Live Performances archive here. Tonight, they’re in Toronto, and NYC listeners can catch them at Glasslands on Friday, November 18, before they head off on a European tour. Check their website and Facebook page for more. For now, here’s the new video for fellow album cut “Sonora”:

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