NEW - Highasakite, Camp Echo LPPRR186
On Camp Echo, Norwegian band Highasakite leave behind the spacious folk tones of their sophomore record, Silent Treatment, in favour of heavier electronic stylings and dark atmospherics. This corresponds with frontwoman Ingrid Havik’s interest in war. The name Camp Echo is a reference to a detention centre on Guantanamo Bay, and across the record Havik’s distinctive voice relates many politicised first-person narratives.
Behind Havik, the group piece together clusters of synthesizers and artificial beats to brilliant effect. My Mind Is A Bad Neighbourhood features an undercurrent of anxious beats and erratic sounds interwoven with the lead melody. Havik’s vocals never threaten to overpower the noise but instead meld to the shape of the song.
I Am My Own Disease sees Highasakitedelving into more anthemic territory, shiny pop monsters that bubble with energy. Golden Ticket is filled with grandiose tonal rises and a deliciously shimmery chorus. It’s also the only track that seems to infer themes of love and affection. Many other songs are bright around the edges, but they’re underpinned with something sinister. See Halvik proclaiming, “I am not the one to slash my wrists ‘cause you’re leaving”, on highlight Deep Sea Diver.
Final track Chernobyl stands in cold contrast to its lively predecessors, feeling like a misplaced movie soundtrack. The emotionality is more forced and the ideas more clichéd than all that preceded it, finishing the album on a disappointing note. Despite this, Camp Echo is Highasakite’s most confident album yet, covering considerable ground without losing direction and showcasing incredible aptitude at their new electronic leanings.
BY ANGELA CHRISTIAN-WILKES www.beat.com.au