HighFields is an accordion-wielding band “hailing from Canada, Norway, Jersey, South Africa, Singapore, and based in Liverpool [whose] 6 members combine their eclectic styles and tastes to create a uniquely fresh take on western folk/pop music.” If that isn’t unique enough in the already varied field of music, then I don’t know what is. And boy does their music reflect it.
Their style is very similar to their namesake – I’m assuming they got their band name from a song written by Rev. Truman Goines, which provides a similar reggae backbeat.
Oddly reminiscent of the type of music ska-bands would produce, HighFields is a young band (their members are in their early 20’s) that boasts a very talented and varied group of musicians. Covering musical instruments from guitars, various percussion, accordion, melodica, trumpet, cello, and much more I’m sure, their songs are not only catchy, but actually quite musical as well.
Though they don’t have an album released yet (so far as I have been able to tell), they’ve posted many of their songs on YouTube, and are currently touring in Europe, gaining a following.
Their music videos are fun and lively, tied to their song lyrics and entertaining. One of the reasons I enjoy their music so much is because not only is it different from most mainstream music, it’s also fun and quirky in a subtle way. These boys (and girl) feel like they could easily be your friends in real life. There is nothing flashy or showy about their beanie sweaters and jeans look. Their overall ensemble helps lend to the idea that their music is relatable and attainable to normal teenagers in a way that can sometimes be hard to achieve with more mainstream artists (‘cuz not everyone dresses like Lady Gaga, unfortunately).
Perhaps my favorite song by them is “Back this Way”.
Simple, with enough in the musical layering to be interesting, it’s a relaxing song that is just long enough to feel satisfying, but short enough that it doesn’t get boring, which is often a hard balance to strike as a ska-band. Another thing that I love about this band is that they understand compositional layering. With the glockenspiel at the top, Robert’s (lead singer), voice balancing the mezzo, and a nice underlayer of bass, they strike a pleasant balance that really demonstrates their musicianship.
My hope is that some day they’ll make it back out to America, because I know that with a little more promotion, they could easily take the market by storm. But until then, there’s always Youtube!