When North Highlands broke up, it was only the second time I experienced the agony of a band I loved ceasing to exist. The first was a Christian rock band from San Diego named Dryve, and I was only ten at the time so I think I actually did cry. Though I didn’t shed any tears over North Highlands’ dissolution, I was still pretty shocked and saddened by it. It seems like only bands that are bad should break up, not one that has a vocalist with a voice like Brenda Malvini’s wispy, crystalline alto (though she admits in their extensive interview with NME that disrupting the band was mostly her decision). Their long-unfinished final album has finally surfaced — despite their break-up — and listening to it makes the loss of the formerly Brooklyn-based act even more regrettable. North Highlands is sunburst dream pop shot through with sadness, and the group of musicians who make it have genuine chemistry. We previously posted the lead single “Shade,” which is still my favorite from the new record, but you can stream the whole thing below and choose a favorite for yourself — every single one is a close second.
North Highlands is out today.