That guitar line! Those melting chords! That gently fraying strum! It's not often I go gaga over stringed instruments—synthesized beats are usually the keeper of my heart—but the way UK-born, NYC-based musician Highlife plays speaks to something deep inside. The sometime Gang Gang Dance touring bass player, aka Sleepy Doug Shaw, is a regular on the Brooklyn live music scene—I've seen him twice in the last month—and has quite the presence. Over a simple drum beat, he holds his guitar in a casual manner, raises his head skyward and closes his eyes, letting the songs seep out of him in a flow of heartfelt emotion and overlapping melody that carries echoes of his chosen namesake. He just popped a live version of his songs "Watching the Eye" and "The Ruiner" up on his Soundcloud and it's a total treat; hopefully a sign of more to come.
May 20, 2014