Album Premiere: High Up Radiate with Energy & Power on Debut ‘You Are Here’

High Up © Andy Lachance
High Up © Andy Lachance

Mitch's Take

Passionate, heartfelt and energetic, High Up’s soulful debut album You Are Here is a raw, intimate portrait of turmoil and inner strength.

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Listening to High Up’s debut album You Are Here is a sacred experience: You’ve never heard soul, rock and punk blend quite like this before. Channeling the true muscle of Muscle Shoals, High Up radiate with an intensity seldom seen and rarely heard, especially today. Passionate, heartfelt and energetic, the Omaha, Nebraska band’s first full-length record You Are Here is a raw, intimate portrait of turmoil and inner strength, personal values and societal expectations, romance, politics and more. It’s a record we need right here and now in 2018, but at the same time it carries the sort of staying power that will last long after tomorrow becomes today: This is an album you’ll be listening to for years and years to come.

Shiny like fool’s gold, the American dream
You’re sinking just like the rest of us
But you still look down on me
The swine wear the pearls
Oh say can you see?
If we’re all equal, well
you’re more equal than me
– “Your System Failed You,” High Up
Listen: You Are Here – High Up

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering High Up’s debut album, You Are Here, out February 23, 2018 via Team Love. Produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit, Monsters of Folk), the record introduces a relatively unknown indie band from Omaha and jettisons them into the spotlight with harrowing strength. Fresh out of Nebraska, High Up consists of frontwoman Christine Fink, her sister (notable singer/songwriter) Orenda Fink (Azure Ray, etc.), Josh Soto, Todd Fink (The Faint) and Matt Focht (Head of Femur, Bright Eyes).

But it’s not who High Up are that should matter; it’s what they do, and how they make you feel. Through dynamic layers of heavy soul and gut-busting rock, High Up deliver a record that captures depression and loneliness, connection and determination, willpower and solace… You get the picture; it’s the kind of music that speaks to the individual, as well as the community. It lifts us up, weighs us down, but ultimately finds the highs in our lows, shining a warm light in the darkness.

You Are Here - High Up
You Are Here – High Up
Higher than high
Lower than low
Living like an angel
From down below
Oh lord, dark as night
Swimming in the red sea
And I can’t fight it
Blue Moon
My impending doom is on the rise
Blue Moon
My impending doom is on the rise
– “Blue Moon,” High Up

High Up are sonically similar to the likes of Muscle Shoals soul-stirrers Alabama Shakes and St. Paul and the Broken Bones, but Fink’s charisma and personality lend the band their own spectacular identity. Their sound is wholly authentic: Fink spent considerable time singing in Alabama before moving back home to Omaha, and she brought the music with her, as is told in album opener “Alabama to the Basement”:

Left my home in Alabama for the flats of Omaha
Gave it to the bank, I guess I lost it all
Only the highway knows…
There’s a certain kind of drama
when you’re living in the basement
Smoking marijuana, climbing higher to escape it
Only the highway knows
From Alabama to the basement
It’s only a highway
You can’t escape it
Same shit, different day
High Up © Andy Lachance
High Up © Andy Lachance

Christine Fink’s powerhouse vocals, with their emotive depth and raspy core, emulates the likes of Amy Winehouse and Janis Joplin. Fink’s roars are as unescapable as her moans and cries, barreling down on our ears with the urgency of fire itself. Alongside her at all times is an incredible band of multitalented musicians who help to keep each moment of You Are Here not merely alive, but truly thriving: They are the cream of the crop, and they prove it eleven times over the course of their debut.

Take it easy
You know you got me where you want me
When I think I’m free
You gotta show that you own me
Well that may be
But you don’t have to act so coldly
You’re power-tripping on me
And I’m about to give my notice
So you teach me
That it’s your way or the highway
Well take your finger
And point right back in your own face
I’m a believer in preparing for the worst case
You’re power-tripping on me
And I’m about to give my notice
– “Two Weeks,” High Up

“What started out as two sisters blowing out weekends at karaoke bars ended up in three years of intensive work on this record, but we’ve loved every second of it,” Orenda Fink tells Atwood Magazine. “The response to the live show and the singles has been great and we’re really excited to get on the road with it, and super excited to tour with our close friends Whispertown and Jake Bellows. “

You Are Here dives deeply into the present moment, reminding us of life’s grandeur and its fragility at the same time. It’s heated like nothing else you’ve heard in 2018 – a piece of music you have to experience for yourself in order to full understand. There’s no doubt in our minds that High Up are head high up, and we can’t wait to watch them rise. Stream their debut album, a worthy 10 out of 10, exclusively on Atwood Magazine.

You Are Here is out on all platforms this Friday, 2/23/2018 via Team Love.  See below for a complete listing of High Up’s 2018 tour dates – you won’t want to miss this show.

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:: stream/purchase You Are Here here ::

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You Are Here - High Up

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📸 © Andy Lachance

You Are Here – High Up

:: High Up 2018 Tour ::

* all shows with Whispertown
03.01 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
03.02 – Lexington, KY @ Willie’s Locally Known
03.03 – Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
03.04 – Muscle Shoals, AL @ 116
03.05 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement
03.07 – Savannah, GA @ Graveface Records
03.08 – Athens, GA @ The World Famous
03.09 – Charlotte, NC @ Crown Station
03.10 – Chapel Hill, NC @ The Cave
03.11 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat (backroom)
03.13 – New York, NY @ Berlin
03.14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Bourbon and Branch
03.15 – Cleveland, OH @ Coda
03.16 – Indianapolis, IN @ Pioneer
03.17 – St. Louis, MO @ TBA
03.18 – Davenport, IA @ Racoon Motel
03.20 – Denver, CO @ Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox
03.21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Hotel Red Lion
03.22 – Boise, ID @ Treefort Festival
03.23 – Boise, ID @ Treefort Festival
03.25 – San Francisco, CA @ Neck of the Woods
03.27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theatre
03.28 – Tucson, AZ @ Hotel Congress
03.29 – Albuquerque, NM @ The Gold House
03.30 – Fort Collins, CO @ Surfside 7
03.31 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
tix & more info here
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