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The High Water Marks
A fusion of indie, pop, and rock, The High Water Marks are receiving high marks themselves as an up-and-coming band. Driven, infectious music and mellow vocals characterize the group’s upbeat sound.
The band saw a fledgling start, of sorts, abroad when Per Ole Bratset (guitar and vocals) met Hilarie Sidney (guitar, keyboard, and vocals) at an Apple’s show in Oslo, Norway. After a “musical correspondence” (trading four track tapes through the mail in order to collaborate together), Sidney flew back out to Norway so that she and Bratset could finish the tracks they’d been working on, plus some. Eventually, Bratset made the move to the states, where Jim Lindsay (drums and keyboards), an old friend of Sidney’s from San Francisco, joined up with the duo. Soon to follow was Mike Snowden (bass), who had been playing with some local bands. From there, THWM hit the ground running.
THWM’s creative process can be described as no less than an intimate and cooperative serenade. “It's usually Per Ole and I sitting around the house playing each other little melodies,” Sidney says of the undertaking. “I'll play him a part that I have and he will build on it, or add a new part, and I will try to do the same for him.” The two usually will record something before introducing it to the band, so recordings and live performances tend to differ greatly. Song inspiration comes from “everywhere” for THWM. “It comes from happiness, anger, frustration, sadness, joy, sexual tension, other music and just living life in general,” comments Sidney.
There’s a kind of foot-tapping magnetism to THWM’s music, as well as definite attraction to be found in their buoyant simplicity. The streamlined songs are refreshing, an embracement of minimalism and sound type over forced variance. Heavy, persistent drum beats drive songs more than anything, but are done so complimentary that they contribute, rather than detract, from the overall sound. The male-female vocal combination adds interest to THWM; an indie Shiny Toy Guns or mellower Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer could be an accurate portrayal.
Band: The High Water Marks
CD: “Songs About the Ocean”
Members: Per Ole Bratset, guitar and vocals; Hilarie Sidney, guitar, keyboard, and vocals; Jim Lindsay, drums and keyboards; Mike Snowden, bass
Label: Happy Birthday to Me Records
Reside: Lexington, Kentucky
Website: myspace.com/thehighwatermarks; thehighwatermarks.com
Listen To: Queen of Verlaine
Warning Label: Infectious beats
Maura: Where'd you get the name for your band?
The High Water Marks: It's from a song we were working on from our first record.
MF: What're the best and worst parts of being in a band?
THWM: The best part of being in a band is the act of creating something and hearing it fall into place and come together. The sheer joy of playing loud, and hanging out with my pals. The worst part is that we don't get to do it enough.
MF: What’s your favorite of your songs? What’s your favorite song in general?
THWM: I always like the songs Per Ole sings on the best. My favorite song right now is anything from the new Wooden Wand record called James and the Quiet.
MF: Who are your favorite artists, both local and in general?
THWM: I really like Wooden Wand. I like Camera Obscura, Ali Hassan Kuban, all sorts of stuff.
MF: What do you want people to get out of your music?
THWM: Anything really.