North Highlands – “Shade” (Stereogum Premiere)

When I first moved to New York, North Highlands was one of those bands that I fell head-over-heels in love with while I was still in the process of falling in love with Brooklyn itself. Hearing Brenda Malvini’s voice brings back memories of trekking through Williamsburg all alone to Glasslands (another cruel RIP), thrilled that seeing local bands at DIY venues was now part of the fabric of my East Coast life. I still put on the band’s last album before they broke up, 2011’s Wild One, and marvel at the dark crispness of their sound. This is earnest, detail-oriented indie pop that captures the thrill and ache of all our yearnings.

The group broke up in the spring of last year, but were in the middle of working on their sophomore album when they did, and have finally finished up the record despite their dissolution. The self-titled record was recorded at Guilford Sound in Vermont after they won a contest to use the studio, and it will be out February 10 digitally. Today we’re premiering “Shade,” the first offering from the album and it’s replete with romantic nostalgia, Malvini’s wordless hums, and laser-like synthesizers. Listen.

North Highlands is out 2/10.