Stream the song, "Beauty," off Highlands' Dark Matter Traveler, exclusively on Brooklyn Vegan.
Named for the Scottish Highlands and rooted in a love of Creation Records bands like Slowdive and Ride, Highlands might be Anglophiles but they are Southern Californians too. Like the Golden State itself, Dark Matter Traveler is a glorious confluence of forces: a surface of beauty and calm, barely shrouding an underbelly of darkness and unease. The tension therein makes Dark Matter Traveler the thrilling flight that it is. Spine-tingling hooks glide atop metronomic beats while dissonant layers confuse and subvert. Frontman Scott Holmes' otherworldly vocals blanket the mix from above, thick as LA smog.
Furthering the vibe set forth on their 2012 debut, Singularity, Highlands have conjured up an astonishing new trip with Dark Matter Traveler. OC Weekly labelled Highlands' debut, "ghostly drone-rock-meets-dream-pop," and USA Today declared, "if you used to listen to Swervedriver in the '90s... this will be right up your alley." On Dark Matter Traveler, Highlands – vocalist/guitarist Holmes, guitarist Stephen Edmunds, bassist Beau Balek, and drummer Chris Figelwicz – deliver on such promises, offering up a perfectionist's vision of psychedelic pop-rock. It drives, soars, and haunts.
For the production of Dark Matter Traveler, the band chose longtime friend Rollie Ulug, known within the SoCal hardcore scene for his work as producer with such bands as Graf Orlock and Dangers. The album was mastered by J.P. Bendzinski of the band Crystal Antlers. The cover art is a painting by the late Yan Burdzinski, an LA artist and surfer memorialized by The Entrance Band in their song, "Hands in the Shape of a Wave."
Dark Matter Traveler is out July 15th, vinyl and digital, on Highlands' own newly-formed label, Say Again Records.
The tracklist is as follows:
1) Show Me
2) Onto You
4) Daylight Station
5) I Know
8) Your Let Down
9) Go Down
10) You Stay Up
Highlands, who have shared stages recently with A Place to Bury Strangers, Ringo Deathstarr, Dead Meadow, Sleepy Sun, and more, will be taking their show on the road in the months to come. Stay tuned.