Highland Kites – All We Left Behind
Score 10/10 Stars
Music is moving. Sometimes it can bring one to tears and other times it can cause one to think more deeply. It can bring about feelings of rage or despondency and it can strip layers off your armor, casting you closer to the matters of the heart. And then there are times when music is so sonically and physically powerful that it is tectonic in its movement. LA based band “Highland Kites” led by female vocalist Marissa Lamar possesses a sound that is somewhat mesmerizing. Whether this band is a perfectionist or whether this was truly a labor of love of all things pop that needed time to perfect, the end product proves its worth in just how well structured it is. This is a heartfelt musical project that isn’t going to be taken down easily and in fact is probably just getting started – very much like the power of music – it all a bit uncontrollable.
“All We Left Behind” opens with “Small Frame” with its loose as a screw attitude, yet somehow tight, and melodically awesome kickoff song as you can get without the pieces flying off. I get an image of seeing this band playing in a high end club around LA and blowing everyone away without trying too hard to do so. I’ve DJ’d in these kinds of clubs before. Lamar and company has an extremely “High End” sound that’s comparable to a Lamborghini as this is a high end production that has a sharp edge. I use the imagery because I’ve been to house parties like this and the live music in those venues carried the same kind of energetic free as a bird vibe as this music does. Those illegal live music house parties were defining for me because everything was so raw, real, so modern. “All We Left Behind” definitely delivers that West Coast style and signature sound and attitude. To be cool in LA is not easy to do and The Highland Kites manage to pull it off. This is the feeling I get when listening to some of these tracks “I Don’t Blame You” and striking “Broke.”
I’d go on about lyrics because they are some of the best I’ve heard in a long time. They could be strung together run on sentences or they could be random bursts of conscious ‘I’m not taking this anymore” spew. Personally, I feel that the importance is more in the meat. The answer is in the aural landscape. The rhyme and reason is in the textured textbook style of this masterfully crafted music delivered cleanly reminiscent of classic acts as La Roux, Ocina Pop, AlunaGeorge and Chvrches. The music itself sets a stage, tone, and feeling. But the serenity is soon blown away by powerful A-Factor Lamar and the gang bring to the table via her amazing voice that reaches mountain heights and swoops down into the darkest caverns, churning and chugging along, lumbering, picking up to dizzying speed and dashing the listener against all manner of surfaces.
Other songs like “Now I’m Home” and the epic closer “Bitter to Brilliant” really pluck on the heart strings. This album hearkens to mind images of love, living life to the fullest, being true to one self and the good and bad of love within the vastness of time and space. Lamar is a effective vocalist as I slapped her vocal chords under her microspore I was impresses how she handled herself.
This juicy group of songs from “All We Left Behind” by ”The Highland Kites” his to say the least intriguing. Lamar and her music demand submission. The music captures this attitude perfectly, and this reflects the band itself It’s in this environment a fan or listen can appreciate really good music that “keeps it real” It’s a well-structured and impressive foray that reaches into the abyss and cracks your heart wide open, which is something a lot of easy radio fed drones could use every now and again.