Brooklyn’s North Highlands run with a broad palette: piano, mandolin, violin, plus the requisite guitar, bass, and drums. But this doesn’t mean they get caught up in fuzzy atmospherics — all the songs on their recently self-released Sugar Lips EP are driven by hooks and melodies first, delicate charm second. They owe much of  the latter to vocalist Brenda Malvini. Her voice is guileless and sweet, with a little twang and vibrato that creeps into the ends of her phrases. They’ve been playing around the city and Brooklyn, but this Big Ugly Yellow Couch session shows off her voice — as well as the band’s other attributes — well. The five-piece pile on to the couch to do a few songs from the EP, as well as newer track “Fresca.” If you dig BTW Freelance Whales you will probably like these kids as well. My friend tipped me to this band last summer (their drummer, Jasper Berg, is his roommate), but they’ve since developed a hardier, sweatier live show than these gentle videos suggest.

For keeps:

Their self-released Sugar Lips EP is out now. Listen to more via their MySpace.

Comments (6)
  1. A solid folky rock outfit. Their songs are sensitive and delicate, but live they seriously rock hard. I love it when a band does both. And apparently there’s a music vid in production now.

  2. These guys are ACE!!! Their stuff is all lush and layered like a really good cake with bacon on the inside, but you don’t feel all gross after you eat it… you feel like you do after you eat good sushi… like satisfied and happy but not all heavy. I LOVE NORTH HIGHLANDS!

    the previous commenter has a strange name. Froude? How do you pronounce that? Like Sigmund Freud?

    and whats with the “h” at the end of derek? soooooooo pretentious.

  3. They’ve got a pretty great sound. Can’t wait to hear more from these folks!

  4. digging this lots

  5. Lots of Love from Malawi for this crew.

  6. yep, these kids are going places.

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