High Places began as an experiment in collaboration: two people with diverse artistic backgrounds coming together to merge their skills, aesthetic tastes, and music-making approaches. Robert Barber grew up listening to punk and hardcore, and Mary Pearson studied bassoon performance, but both gravitated toward a DIY compositional style and a love of layers. It is the affinity for layering that has thus far defined the duo, both in ideas and instrumentation. High Places’ songs contain a fascinating range of aural layers: bells and bird calls over a wash of ocean waves; mallets hitting mixing bowls over treated guitar and glockenspiel; Mary's reflective vocals over Rob's homemade beats. The result is an imaginative and spacious amalgamation of sounds with a unique, almost Caribbean undertone that is as immediate as it is refreshing.
Since their inception in 2006, High Places have honed their "exquisite corpse" style of songwriting, exchanging ideas back and forth, challenging one another's expectations, pushing both performance and songs to new places, or more aptly, new heights. With each single, from “Head Spins” to “Sandy Feat” from “Greeting the Light” to “Granola” the band has revealed more complex elements within their layers be it in vocal texture, delicate melodic sense, or in new dimensions to their ever inventive and propulsive percussion.
High Places’ first offering, due out in July 2008, is the singles collection “03/07 – 09/07” that collects the above mentioned songs plus a few harder to find gems (“Jump In” being a song commissioned for an elementary school music program, “Freaked Flight” a reworked demo cut and “Canary” which appeared on a compilation) from 2007 (recently made available via special arrangement with E-Music) making them all available for the first time world wide on CD. No need to scour EBay. All the magnificent tracks that endeared them to us and those lucky enough to have seen them so far, will be included.
The CD release of 03/07 – 09/07 will be followed by their eagerly awaited debut full-length due out on September 23rd, 2008. This summer the band will hit the road for a European trek with Deerhunter, an American jaunt with fellow DIY enthusiasts No Age and will also be making stops at a handful of festivals world-wide, including Pitchfork and the MIDI Festival.