Atmospheric Indie-Electro Pop
Highasakite are an indie band from Norway whose atmospheric electro-pop sound often reflects their namesake. Their second album, Silent Treatment, follows in the wake of 2012’s All That Floats Will Rain, a record that earned the attention and respect of Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver). Silent Treatment is more introspective than the group’s debut, reflecting a change in the group’s instrumentation, as well as a change in the lyricism of frontwoman Ingrid Helene Havik.
On Silent Treatment, Havik has crafted a more conceptual album in which she describes personal relationships through metaphors of war, using these metaphors to describe her own emotional battles. Some tracks, like “Leaving No Traces,” offer glimpses and descriptions of a post-apocalyptic world somewhat subtly, while other tracks, such as “Hiroshima” and “Iran,” seem to be more overt. These dark themes are reflected by an equally melancholic sound, which is a mix of electronic pop in the same vein as Chvrches, but with a distinct Scandinavian sound similar to that of groups like Sigur Rós or Of Monsters and Men. The end product of the band’s efforts is a sound yet to be explored by anyone from their region, or by anyone within the periphery of current indie pop.
The question remains as to whether or not Silent Treatment is a successful effort. The answer is, for the most part, yes. As said earlier, while some of the subject matter explored on the tracks of Silent Treatment is abrasive and overt, the group succeeds in creating music that’s both diverse in influence and lyrically powerful on many tracks. Much of this success is owed to Havik’s vocal range, as well as the dramatic build present on many of the album’s tracks. On Silent Treatment’s closer, “Science & Blood Tests,” the band effectively blends beautiful lyrics with large electronic swells that give the band both character and individuality, crafting one of the album’s best songs.
It’s obvious that Highasakite have not yet completely honed their sound as effectively as they could. However, Silent Treatment proves that the group is heading in the right direction of achieving one of the more unique sounds within independent music. Hopefully they as a group, under leadership from Havik, will continue to craft profound tunes that utilize a diverse array of interesting musical influences in the coming years.