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Cascades, the title of the second record from the Brooklyn group High Highs, could be read in a number of ways. It could be taken as a nod to the group s hometown -- the coastal Australian city of Sydney, which rests against the beautiful, blue Pacific Ocean. Or it could be a nod to the record s sound, which retains the broad scope of the group s debut, Open Season, but feels bigger, and grander sheets of sound, raining down softly.


In reality, though, the title is a memory a moment Jack Milas and Oli Chang remember while driving through the Cascade Mountains on tour. The song it comes from, also called, Cascades, is bright and expansive, silver threads of guitar laced through soft layers of synths. It builds softly and steadily, Milas voice swooping up to an aching falsetto on the chorus, synths pooling gently beneath him. More than anything else, the song is an indication of how far the group has come in a short period of time from working together in a recording studio in Australia to opening for Sky Ferreira and Vampire Weekend. Cascades is a portrait of a band in ascent, making music grand enough to carry them along the way.
All of these elements combine to make music that is soothing and soaring, reflecting the group s love of club culture, but better suited to unwinding after the party than getting lost in the thick of it. We just tried to make the record beautiful, Chang says. We weren t trying to be edgy or difficult we were striving to make it as epically beautiful as we possibly could. Hopefully when people hear it, it will make them think of something that s important to them. Drawn equally from High Highs past and present, Cascades is the record that points the way to their future.

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