We’ve featured High Coast before here on AUK, so it’s a pleasure to premiere their new video on Americana UK today – a good Friday even if it’s not Good Friday. High Coast in its various forms can be traced all the way back to 2010, when Daniel Walke started to write his own music. In the mid-2010s, the band was a four-piece, focusing on live performances at music venues, clubs, festivals, and bars in southern Sweden, including a support slot with Great Lake Swimmers in Lund and Copenhagen in 2015.
The new single and EP ‘Mind Pictures’ which is out today, mark something of a reboot for the band, with Daniel Walke and August Wegestål, both original band members, now operating as a duo. Life, in the form of fishing and football, families and fika, along with university studies and careers as a nurse and social worker respectively, put chords and octaves on the back burner for a while, but the boys have decided that the time is now right to switch the focus back to music. Lucky for us and the fish alike.
Walke and Wegestål met at music college in Malmö around ten years ago. Walke writes the lyrics and brings the basic song structure to the table, but the arrangements are collaborative, with Wegestål’s precise accompaniment and creativity adding the colours. Americana is not the cheeriest genre and we’re fine with that – High Coast’s songs illustrate the disillusionment, despair, and imperfection of reality.
‘Troubles and Lies’ is the first single to be lifted from the EP, understated but building as it goes along with some sublime harmony vocals. The release is the first from High Coast as a duo, with Walke’s melodic guitar picking complemented by Wegestål’s haunting lap steel in a song about the difficulty of moving on – “I don’t look back, but where am I supposed to look now?” Some of the imagery within the song is striking, as Walke talks about “..the sorrow let out a wolf inside, closing in on you with red and hungry eyes…. And I followed you to the end of the line, To the blackening meadow and the sky that used to look so fine”. There’s a great deal of intensity for such young shoulders.
Daniel told us: “The song was a bit of a slow grower and took many forms before it turned out the way it is today – it was one of the first songs we arranged with the acoustic guitar/lap steel combination (the setting which later turned out to be kind of the base for the EP). The song is about moving on in life, not looking back but struggling to find a way forward. I think it just has a bit of a different feel and stands out a bit compared to the other songs on the EP which is why we chose it as the single. We wanted to catch the feeling of digging out an old tape from the attic and rediscovering something that’s been around a long time, so we played around a lot with analogue effects in the production.”
The beautifully shot video, produced by London-based filmmaker Anton Berggren, features the two band members, two boats, piracy, and a wellington boot, early one morning at sea. As you do. Look out for a review of the EP soon here on AUK.
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