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High Places vs. Mankind

Thrill Jockey
thrill 238 - 2010

CD version comes packaged in a high gloss 4 panel mini-LP style package with double sided art card insert.  LP version is packaged in a high gloss gatefold jacket with inner sleeve and free MP3 download coupon. 

High Places vs. Mankind is the second full-length album from Mary Pearson and Rob Barber. Formed as a Brooklyn duo in 2006, High Places have since relocated to Los Angeles, whose warmer temps and mountain vistas better fit the warmth of High Places’ music and personalities. But relocation was but a small part of what’s been a dynamic few years for the two.

High Places’ 2007 self-titled debut 7” grabbed the immediate attention of the music-blogosphere and anticipation built with subsequent single releases, compilation tracks and touring in the US and Europe with No Age, Deerhunter, The Blow, Ponytail, Abe Vigoda and Dan Deacon. By popular demand, Thrill Jockey released the 03/07 - 09/07 CD in 2008 collecting those single and compilation tracks, and FADER called High Places “One of the most steadfastly interesting bands to emerge over the past year.” When High Places self-titled debut full-length came later in 2008, it was named one of the year’s best albums by Pitchfork, Stereogum, NME and The Village Voice.

“Despite the duo’s ambitious blending of genres, the colorful, charismatic High Places remains unique and focused, naturally absorbing a rich array of influences and ultimately thriving on the impulses behind them.” - Pitchfork’s Best Albums of 2008

High Places began as an experiment in collaboration, based on a DIY compositional style and a love of layers. The title of High Places vs. Mankind accurately suggests the album will take a slightly altered course from the “goodness as growth reflected in nature” motif of the band’s debut. A digital single released on Halloween entitled “I Was Born” demonstrated Rob and Mary using more standard instrumentation including guitars sounding like guitars, and the bassoon upon which Mary was classically trained. Her vocals are less effected and more present, but many aspects of the High Places sound and aesthetic remain intact. One hears dance rhythms, stereo effects, accessible melodies, dub influence, and as always, a love of layering and of combining the unexpected into something cohesive and new.



  • 1 The Longest Shadows
  • 2 On Giving Up
  • 3 She's a Wild Horse
  • 4 The Channon
  • 5 Canada
  • 6 Constant Winter
  • 7 On a Hill in a Bed on a Road in a House
  • 8 Drift Slayer
  • 9 The Most Beautiful Name
  • 10 When It Comes