HighSchool are unnervingly cool. They’re like The Strokes’ weird Australian cousins, but with similar sex appeal. When they get the chance to play live outside of Australia, expect them to be hot property for their gothic, occultist style that blends post-industrial sounds with a dash of NYC indie gloss.
Unable to tour due to the pandemic, the Melbourne based trio — comprised of Lilli Trobbiani, Rory Trobbiani, and Luke Scott — have instead spent their time recording their debut EP (due in October) with the help of Floodlights’ Archie Shannon. They signed to UK indie label Dalliance Recordings (Gia Margaret, Francis of Delirium, Wilsen) late last year and have quickly seen their reputation grow since then. Their latest offering comes in the form of “Sirens,” which continues the band’s sizzling run of form.
Sonically, HighSchool’s newest track doesn’t differ too much from their previous releases. Peter Hook-like basslines match with jangly, post-punk guitar to open proceedings with drive and eeriness. Distant keys add further depth to the mix while robust drums keep the track chained to a danceable beat.
Things become a little more mysterious with the lyrics. Polished Winchester guns and hollow stones in Monte Carlo paint hallucinatory like images in the track’s verses. However, this tension releases in among the track’s love-fueled, playful choruses: “And I won’t let you go for someone / To love me, treat me right / Take me, baby you talk too much.”
The music video for “Sirens” captures HighSchool’s character perfectly. Shot at the infamous Ararat Psychiatric Hospital and throughout rural Victoria, it showcases the eerie emptiness of Australia’s landscapes and explores themes of occultism and transgression. It pairs with the track’s lyrically weird themes perfectly, showcasing how the band’s visual identity is just as important as their sonic identity.
“Sirens” is yet another solid offering from a band who aren’t putting a foot wrong at the minute. It embodies the strange and the cool that HighSchool are becoming renowned for and shows further promise for the band’s potential in the months and years that lie ahead of them.