Highasakite 🇳🇴 - ‘Mother’ (Album)
I’m approaching the new Highasakite album somewhat nervously because my rule this year is to keep reviews really brief, yet ‘Mother’ is such huge ambitious project I’m not entirely sure how I can give a balanced perspective in a few short paragraphs. I guess it barely matters, they’re so big that my view is largely irrelevant.
Somewhat frighteningly this is their 5th album, having debuted in 2012 with ‘All That Floats Will Rain’, most recently releasing ‘Uranium Heart’ (which I liked) in 2019, and now the latest is ‘Mother’. And without going into the history, they’re now very much a duo, based around founding members Ingrid Håvik and Trond Bersu.
To say that ‘Mother’ is a weighty release is somewhat of an understatement, with synths turned up to 11, and always carried along by Håvik‘s dark electro pop vocals and lyrics, which I’ll make no attempt to try and interpret, opening with the powerful and almost optimistic sounding ‘I Just Moved Here’. I‘m never a big fan of expletive laden lyrics but ‘Atomic Sparks’ does hit home melodically and lyrically, helped by a line that could be considered in so many different ways: “Don't sabotage, don't get scared / This is a reconstruction / We're in helpless need of a new direction”.
‘Love Him Anyway’ and ‘So Cold’ are probably the most commercially appealing tracks, ‘Under the Sky’ and particularly ‘Autopsy’ both leave me scratching my head slightly. But concluding track ‘Can I Come Home’ is pretty sensational, an epic, soulful and powerful song, ending with a gorgeous instrumental section which makes me want to listen to the whole album again, and maybe try and understand it a little more.
Because whilst it is a pretty spectacular release and I’m sure it’ll be acclaimed by those who (unlike me) know what they’re talking about, I can’t deny it leaves me cold in places. Maybe the blazing synths and industrial scale production overwhelm, maybe the sweary lyrics in a few tracks switch me off, maybe I preferred the more intimate version of the duo in ‘Uranium Heart’. Maybe I just prefer guitars.
But the sheer scale of the album is impressive, and I probably need to just keep listening so that I can warm to it. I still like all the pre-album single releases after all and ‘Can I Come Home’ is a particular highlight. Their live shows this year will be phenomenal, it’s a shame they don’t seem to be doing any outside of London.