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High Places High Places

Following the much-feted singles compilation 03/07–09/07, Rob Barber and Mary Pearson offer High Places, their first proper full-length for Thrill Jockey. Known for its playful innocence and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink audio collages, the duo further explores those elements across 10 beat-heavy tracks. Both Barber’s production and Pearson’s vocals reveal new sophistication, showcased on the wobbly, sun-baked “Golden” and the lightheaded tribal number “Gold Coin.” Though more focused than previous recordings, the album retains a natural, upbeat spontaneity that imbues a feeling of childlike awe into songs such as “Papaya Year” and “A Field Guide.” The real stunner, though, is closer “From Stardust to Sentience”–all ricocheting pinball beats and wistful emotions, it’s a powerful reminder of youth’s fleeting purity.

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