Up-and-coming Alt-Pop solo artist HEIGHTS shines on her new EP ‘Glow’, a vibrant display of electronic soundscapes and pop tendencies that create a rich, emotive, and infectious synth-heavy sound. Beautifully textural and alternative, ‘Glow’ is a wonderful journey through experimental ideas and honest songwriting, marking an exciting up-and-coming talent.
Track 1, ‘Metchu’, introduces HEIGHTS’ blend of warming analogue synth sounds, tight electronic beats, and her silky, haunting vocal delivery.
Led by a bouncing arpeggiator that runs throughout and creates a central pulse for everything else to dance around with easy freedom, the track has an effortlessly euphoric sense of energy from the very start. Making excellent use of subtle processing across the track, with splashes of retuned vocals along with washing, modulated pads, and shimmering reverbs, ‘Metchu’ offers an otherworldly, serene experience under the emotive yet vibrant and catchy lead vocals.
An excellent introduction to the EP, the track is comparable to NAO and Lapsley, as well as artists like Bonobo and Jadu Heart, with its electronic atmospherics.
‘Glow’ continues this journey with another example of beautiful synth work, featuring a bopping arpeggiator line under HEIGHTS’ delicate vocal delivery, clicking electronic drums, and silky-smooth production. As the track progresses, gently adding layers of synth and subtle vocal samples, it becomes a fluorescent example of how to balance restraint with creativity to create something beautiful. Catchy, elegant, gently experimental but still accessible and vibrant, the first few tracks showcase everything that is great about HEIGHTS’ sound.
Elsewhere on the 4-track EP, ‘Are You Ever?’ along with the closing track ‘If You Notice’ offers a more obviously gentle, emotive exploration of HEIGHTS’ sound. ‘Are You Ever?’ showcases swinging rhythms under layers of soulful lead vocals and a beautifully thought-out, rich soundscape that grows from simple layers of plucky synth and drums to a euphoric, expansive climax of reversed piano, field recordings, and chopped-up vocal samples.
‘If You Notice’ closes out the EP with the most personal and delicate offering of the four tracks. More organic and grounded, the track is a simplistic, affecting, and heartfelt ballad of warming piano lines, layers of vocal harmonies, and subtle synth textures.
A brilliant collection of tracks showcasing huge amounts of talent across four tracks, which succinctly and effectively demonstrate HEIGHTS’ sonic breadth as an artist, ‘Glow’ is a masterclass in songwriting and production (my god, she makes some wonderful synth sounds) and intricate musicality.
The only thing I could potentially comment on is that at times I wish HEIGHTS would let go of her constraints, push her sound to the limits, and step into a fully-fledged, long, and explosive electronic breakdown. Moments like the climaxes of ‘Metchu’ and ‘Are You Ever?’ are simply stunning. I would love to hear extended versions that keep building and deliver more of the rich musical texture, space, serenity, and atmospheric intensity that HEIGHTS is so brilliant at delivering.
Nonetheless, the tracks all deliver more than enough to keep me coming back for more in their 3.30-minute duration, so maybe I’m just longing for something that isn’t even necessary? At times, less is more, and restraint equals beauty. There’s no question that HEIGHT’s approach to making music has resulted in some beautiful work across ‘Glow’.