World Watch: Highaskakite

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Country: Norway

Scandinavia has been a major hub for the pop world since ABBA conquered the world, and that side of the world continues to develop thoughtful and unique acts that know how to blend big hooks and smarts.

Indie pop duo Highasakite formed in 2012, merging vocalist Ingrid Havik’s plaintive, ingraining voice with Trond Bersu’s percussive rock drumming. The group made waves in their home country. dominating Norwegian Top 40, and headlining festivals across Europe. They also made their U.S. television debut on Conan O’Brien. Now, only eight months after releasing their last album, the group have dropped the first single, “Can I Be Forgiven”, from another upcoming album, The Bare Romantic, which will be released in two parts (the first dropping October 18th).

“Can I forgiven for a lifetime of mine that’s yet to come?” is the lyric that stands at the heart of the quiet yet powerful track. The arrangement is sparse, built over acoustic guitars and light synths, with Ingrid’s emotive voice forming warm harmonies, with lyrics that hit at pings of regret and foreboding. Part way through, there’s an injection of synths that transform the song while not losing the feeling at its core, as Ingrid repeats “No I’m not being coy, I know what kind of man I had.”

It’s a gem of a track, which you can check out below, along with another great song by the band, “Uranium Heart”.

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