The High Water Marks is an indie rock band currently based in Norway, comprised of real-life couple Hilarie Sidney, co-founder of the Elephant 6 Collective and former drummer of The Apples in Stereo, and Per Ole Bratset. The group’s latest album Ecstasy Rhymes was released last November following a 10 year hiatus. Today we are premiering the band’s new music video for “The Trouble with Friends,” a hopeful soft rock track from their latest record.
The video, much like their album Ecstasy Rhymes, is a testament to the beauty of Norway, where Sidney and Bratsets’ have called home for six years. The video features Bratset (and the couple’s dog Ringo) walking and playing guitar around the Norweigan countryside while wearing a horse mask. Occasionally, the video cuts to the band, still masked, playing and recording music inside. It’s a funny and personal video, which pairs beautifully with the song’s optimistic perspective and upbeat guitar. Much like a Belle and Sebastian song, “The Trouble with Friends” maintains a level of reassuring cheer through Bratset’s sanguine vocals and the band’s laid back indie sound.
“Hil and I first had an idea to make cut-out-figures of the band members and put them on our cats and film them. It would look like we were riding around on gigantic cats! But that proved impossible and would have been borderline cat abuse, so we decided we’d utilize my horse mask and go for adventures outside.” Bratset explained in a statement. “Our son, Anders, who just turned 15, begged us not to go around in the neighborhood. He’s got a wicked sense of humor and is full of pranks himself, but he definitely has weird parents, in his opinion. I told him he’ll appreciate it one day.”
Sidney and Bratset’s vibrant energy is on full display in this animated and endearing video. On filming the video Bratset shared that, “We had to be quick, because it gets dark around 4PM in Norway in the winter, so I just started walking around the local landing strip with my guitar strapped on, with our dog Ringo following in disbelief. I’m glad we didn’t run into any neighbors, they think we are weird enough already! At one point, I was swinging the guitar around and got disoriented and I fell. That turned out to be gold!”
The duo met at a concert for The Apples in Stereo in Oslo, Norway, and began their music career together through the mail. After a decade-long break, The High Water Marks’ return to music is a gorgeous and intimate sounding indie record full of positive energy to bring into the new year.
Read mxdwn’s review of Ecstasy Rhymes here.
Ecstasy Rhymes tracklist
- Ode to Lieutenant Glahn
- Annual Rings
- Can You
- Ecstasy Rhymes
- Award Show
- Some Like It Lukewarm
- The Trouble with Friends
- I’ll Be Formal (With You Because of It)
- Pepin Le Bref
- Accidentally On Purpose