High Places, Original Colors

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 10.11.11 in Reviews

Original Colors

High Places
Painting with a brand-new set of Crayolas

In the video for “Altos Lugares,” the spellbinding capper to High Places’ brave and bewitching third album, these eMusic Selects alums look like they’re fading away into the landscape. Which, if intentional, is a fantastic preview of Original Colors. The Los Angeles-via-Brooklyn duo of Michigan-reared bassoonist Mary Pearson and former Philly hardcore kid Rob Barber threw expectations out the window with 2010′s High Places vs. Mankind, which veered from the homespun found-sound patchworks, wispy schoolyard melodies and positive global vibes of their early records toward a moodier, more guitar-driven style. With Original Colors, they use that newfound freedom to dissolve their old selves even further. The result is an enigmatic but beguiling electronic swirl that floats Pearson’s lilting nature imagery amid Barker’s clubbiest home-studio beats yet. As aspects of High Places’ initial sound have bubbled up in the winsome indie-pop collages of Cults, the bold uke-nanny intimacy of tUnE-yArDs and the warped, disorienting wobble of Purity Ring, the O.G.s are painting with a brand-new set of Crayolas.