Perth is undeniably a fertile breeding ground for unhinged musical exploration. A rich land with a warm ocean responsible for acts like Karnivool, Jebediah, The Sleepy Jackson, The Panics, The Drones, Little Birdy, The Scientists (that is seriously only a smattering of the list).
Not more importantly but more prevalent to this time is it’s vast psychedelic offering that’s seen the rise of POND and Tame Impala and led us to think that there must be something in the water. Whatever it is, The High Learys have been drinking it for a while now and it’s time for us to catch up.
Solid songwriting, catchy melodies and touches of psych that suits the approaching Spring weather; is it any surprise that The High Learys are from Perth?
The band formed in 2011 when cousins Jamie Turner and Matt Williams started the band with high school friend Mike Nutt and their now former drummer Adrian MacMillan. At the beginning of the year they recruited Mitchell J Benson to hit the skins and a psychedelic coven was pronounced that added to the already rich cornucopia of awesomeness. However the alliance that came about was one which had music as the focus, making sure the audience and band had an old fashioned rollicking amount of fun.
Not taking themselves too seriously, Turner says “We aren’t super slick, way too cool rockstars. We love making tunes and performing the music, we hope people dig it and everything else is a bonus”. For a band rummaging through the psychedelic realm as an influence, its fair to say that inspiration can come from any place, “We’re influenced by a whole range of things. Music obviously, along with art and poetry and the crazy roller coaster ride of life which I think everyone can relate to… we’ve all got a ticket right?” If you don’t, it’s time to politely excuse yourself, purchase one and grab on to the reins of their latest single Letters To Alice.
The track was recorded at Poons Head Studios in Fremantle with producer Rob Grant (Tame Impala, Lenny Kravitz, Miley Cyrus) before moving on to Ryan Miller and Matt O’Connor at Hercules St Studios for mixing and a final stop at Benchmark Mastering with Don Bartley for it’s final touches. The artwork stayed a little closer to home with Turners’ girlfriend Siahne Rogers producing the mind bending artwork.
The wealth of experience behind the single allowed the band to attack it with a confidence you can hear prominently on the record. Letters To Alice sounds almost like a proclamation of sorts to a sound we can’t ignore, filled with juicy sounding organ, honey-soaked fuzz emanating from the guitars and a shuffling backbeat that infiltrates at your feet, works its way to your primal nerve until you’re grooving like a mad man.
The track was the first to be written 50/50 between Nutt and Turner, with Nutt bringing a demo of instrumentation to the table for Turner to lay down lyrics and a vocal melody. As the song begins to shape the whole band throws their own ingredients in to the melting pot as they worked out the dynamics, we get the feeling this is where the band truly begins to explode into a collaborative web. For us the single is the sound of a band staying true to ethos and simply having fun.
For those wanting more, there is hope the single will be part of an EP slated for 2016, but for now we shall settle for a standalone single. Truth be told it doesn’t need any support to stand.