PopGun Presents


Luxury Liners, Wall

Mar 21

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 11:30 pm)

Glasslands Gallery

Brooklyn, NY


Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Highasakite inhabits their own rare musical landscape, a place of long dark
shadows, sudden flashes of glittering light, brooding silences and
unexpected explosions of fierce percussion. Ingrid Håvik’s surrealistic
lyrics and ardent vocals float out of another time and place, drawing you
down into the breathless maelstrom created by her band mates. Progressive
rock, Norwegian folk music, jazzy tribal drumming, spaced out synthesizers,
zither and autoharp come together to create a deep, mysterious resonance,
echoing the sounds your hear in the midnight dreams that often seem more
real than anything you experience during your waking hours. Imagine Phil
Spector producing Cluster, with a dash of Radiohead on the side, and you’ll
have the general idea, but Highasakite brings their own singular vision to
the party.

The band took flight when Håvik and drummer Trond Bersu met while studying
jazz at the Trondheim Jazz Conservatory. They started as a duo, with Bersu
on drums and Håvik singing and playing zither. After a few gigs, they
enlisted producer Thomas Dahl (Krøyt) to help them capture the sounds they
were hearing in their heads. “We wanted to combine the rhythm patterns I was
composing with 60s American pop, Norwegian folk music and synthesizers,”
Bersu says. With Dahl producing and playing bass and guitar, and their
friend Øystein Skar contributing his synthesizer wizardry, they worked for
six months to produce their cryptically titled debut All That Floats Will
Rain. The album was an immediate success, reaching #16 on the Norwegian
charts. It was named one of the best records of 2012 by many Norwegian
magazines and newspapers.

With their reputation in Norway secure, Highasakite is setting their sights
on the American market with In and Out of Weeks. The five-song mini-album
will introduce America to the band’s highly emotional music and their
distinctive approach to songwriting and arranging. Tribal drums and
throbbing, euphoric synthesizer open “Son of a Bitch,” a mid tempo rocker
that alternates between Håvik’s propulsive, tongue twisting verses and
wordless trills, underscored by Dahl’s swooping bass. “In and Out of Weeks”
is a tense, moody ballad full of long sustained guitar notes, vast washes of
spacey keyboards and dense layers of skittering percussion. Håvik’s
somnambulant vocals capture the muzzy feeling of a sleepless night.

“Indian Summer” has a skewed rhythm halfway between a waltz and a tango,
marked by pealing acoustic guitars, kaleidoscopic percussion effects and a
soulful, wailing vocal from Håvik. “The song is a nostalgic look at my
childhood, playing cowboys and Indians in a suburban forest. It’s the first
song I wrote using a synthesizer.” The stories of soldiers returning from
Iraq and Afghanistan inspired the quiet drama of “Whatever That Means.”
Chiming synthesizers, zither and crashing cymbals highlight a choral vocal
that delivers a feeling of quiet desperation. The music of Highasakite is
unquestionably pop, but Håvik’s emotional singing and songwriting, and the
band’s commanding wall of sound, conjures up overwhelming feelings that will
leave listeners thrilled.

Håvik and Bersu started Highasakite while attending the Trondheim Jazz
Conservatory. “We fell in love, but he was always gone, playing in bands,”
Håvik recalls. “I was in bands as well. We thought we’d have more time
together if we started our own group.” Both came from families that
encouraged their musical ambitions. “My mother was a conductor and singer,”
Håvik recalls. “When I was young, she got a mike that plugged into the CD
player, stuck it in my hand and had me sing along with Mariah Carey. I was
in church choirs, but didn’t like it much. Later on, I realized choir
singing was good training for my voice.”

Bersu’s grandfather sang and played Norwegian folk music on his accordion.
“I liked folk as a kid,” he says. “My grandfather let me press the buttons
while he played, but I was more fascinated by the drums. I got a Mickey
Mouse drum kit when I was four or five and destroyed it. I made my own kit
out of empty ice buckets. My inspiration was Metallica and American punk
bands like Green Day.” Bersu discovered jazz in high school. “I joined the
jazz ensemble and studied composition and percussion at University. I was
set on having a career in music.”

“I thought about being a jazz singer,” Håvik says, “but I didn’t sing with a
band until University. I never thought about music as a full time
possibility until I’d been in bands for a couple of years. The singers were
all songwriters too, but writing lyrics intimidated me. Finally, one of my
teachers encouraged me and got me started writing.”

Håvik eventually showed her songs to Bersu. They started performing and
decided to make a record. In May of 2011, they went into the studio with
friend and producer Thomas Dahl (Krøyt). “We recorded drums, autoharp,
zither and vocals, with Thomas improvising guitar and bass,” Bersu explains.
“Then my high school friend Øystein Skar came in and added synthesizer
parts.” Stein was a classically trained pianist who changed his focus to
pop, rock and fusion and works as a composer and sideman when he’s not on
the road with Highasakite.

After six months of intense exploration, the trio released All That Floats
Will Rain in Norway in February of 2012 and began playing dates to support
its release. “At first, it was challenging to play the songs live,” Bersu
says. “We’d recorded all the tracks separately and had to find a way to
translate the studio recordings to the stage. We added Marte Eberson, a
friend of Ingrid’s, on synthesizer and my friend Kristoffer Lo on guitar,
percussion, flugabone and tuba.” Lo’s electronic approach to tuba has made
him a favorite sidemen for metal, jazz and noise bands. The band’s live
performances struck a chord with both critics and the public. They were a
hit at Norway’s Oya, Hove and Pstereo Music festivals last summer and are
looking forward to their American debut at SXSW in March. They’re currently
at work on their second album, due out in late 2013.
Luxury Liners
Being on the road is generally not the optimal atmosphere for writing new music. Long drives, loading in, loading out, bad roadside coffee and highway motels have a tendency to dull creative expression. Carter Tanton was able to find inspiration in touring and after releasing Freeclouds in 2011 under his own name, he crafted They’re Flowers while on tour in the U.S. with The War on Drugs and later, Lower Dens. Tanton had plenty of time to experiment with new ways of crafting songs using samples and other electronics, producing They’re Flowers, his first release under the Luxury Liners moniker, one made with absolute freedom.

Tanton explains, “This record had me stepping away from the guitar and focusing more on my interests in electronic music production. Still, most of the songs were written on a nylon string guitar I found in a basement. I actually thought the record was going to come out like Nick Drake judging from the original arrangements, but I had to bend them to fit the laptop while on tour.”

This restriction was ultimately a boon to his recording process and led Tanton to a key facet of his work, deconstruction, in part influenced by John Cale’s production of Nico records. Tanton acknowledges the composer’s “deconstructing layer after layer of song until the original arrangement is just a trace of its former self. I emulate that, my singing being the only thing which remains constant.”

Cale’s influence remains with the opening track, “Caribbean Sunset,” which uses Cale’s lyrics but alters the melodic structures dramatically. The song, originally recorded with the intention of becoming the first of a full album of John Cale covers, is the only one, as Tanton was drawn to crafting his own summery blend of electronic pop as well as recognizing other musicians who have influenced him. “Memphis Alex,” written soon after Alex Chilton’s death, loosely details a road trip – a car accident with a Mac truck in a snowstorm, ending up in Memphis and meeting Jody Stephens at the legendary Ardent Studios.

They’re Flowers retains a clear, twinkling, pop-laced sunny sound as it explores drum programming and sampling via the laptop, Tanton’s primary instrument used in crafting the record. Luxury Liners reflects growth, ambition, and, ultimately, the impact of inspiration.
WALL is a London-based producer, writer, vocalist whos minimal pop music is causing taste-makers to fawn over the intimacy of the tracks. After releasing the haunting 'No Secrets' on Soundcloud the team at Black Cab Sessions stepped in to get involved signing WALL for her debut single and as the first act on their newly born label, BCS Records. They have also filmed two exclusive sessions releasing the live session of 'Magazine' today.

Influenced by artists such as St Vincent and Patti Smith, WALL takes her lead from women with a strong sense of identity, using her unique formula of layered production as an integral part of the writing process. Favouring rudimentary recording equipment over state-of-the-art studios, she captures not only the intended notes but also encourages the ambient sound in the room. From these scratchy beginnings, WALL creates sparse soundscapes, with only muted bass lines and scattered keyboards to frame her voice.While the production creates an intriguing backdrop, it is WALL's sense of melody and turn of phrase that takes centre stage. Subtle nods to classic refrains, mingled with her own inflection, suggest a writer who draws from many different eras. The result is a sound that is both timeless yet modern.

Black Cab Sessions has been discovering and showcasing some of the best music talent from around the world since 2007. Their simple concept of one song, one take, one cab has attracted global stars such as Jack White, Wanda Jackson, The Roots, Brian Wilson and Bon Iver to take part. Black Cab Sessions have also been at the forefront of new music discoveries, being first to feature performances from upcoming artists such as Lianne La Havas, Michael Kiwanuka, Fleet Foxes, Mumford and Sons and the latest band ‘Reptar.
Venue Information:
Glasslands Gallery
289 Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11249