Exclusive: A New Dreamy Indie Track From Highland Kites
The band Highland Kites is composed of singer songwriter, Marissa Lamar and drummer Neil Briggs. Their music is intended to bring a positive aura, in a way that is genuine and real. With doing this through their music they touch on some tender subjects, all with the outcome of being uplifting and inspiring. The pair intend to create human connection through their honesty and unfiltered emotion. Their goal with music is to make people feel better even though most of the songs are themed around painful experiences. The goal that the two band members share is evident throughout their music. An example of this is their track “Better Off”.
At the start of “Better off”, the listener is met with a soft somewhat melancholy melody that is quite dreamy. The drumming part has an interesting rhythm to it which is what gives the song its upbeat quality. The vocals from Marissa add to the track by giving it a haunting quality, especially with the reverb and echo effects. It’s an incredible track if you think about the amount of talent that only two people can possess. The lyrics are very heartfelt. The lyrics speak about being able to move forward from someone who was holding them back despite them maybe still loving them which is always a hard decision to make. A very beautiful ballad that will leave you wanting more. Make sure to stay tuned for their two music videos and a completed album within the next year. Listen to "Better Off" here.
Get to know the band better with our #BuzzMusic Exclusive Interview!
Care to introduce yourselves to our readers?
We're Marissa and Neil from LA but currently moving around the US.
How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
We met 5 years ago when I started doing songwriting as a solo act and decided I wanted to try out some of the songs live. A guitar player friend of mine asked if I wanted Neil to come in and play some percussion parts. We rehearsed in a tiny corner of my room where you had to climb over the bed to get the music equipment and played that first show at the back of a guitar shop in the Valley. We ended up just clicking musically and staying in a band together all these years.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together a band?
I think it's taken me years (and writing a lot) to really know what type of music I want to create. We've written a huge amount of songs together and every project we do we really push ourselves to make better than the last, whether it's pushing ourselves musically, or pushing the songs to a new level emotionally. Funnily enough I think the more we've written the simpler our music has gotten. We've really been focusing on emotion, simplicity and raw organic sounds and recording spaces recently. I don't know why but the better I get at music and the more I write the simpler and more organic I want to make everything. I find a lot of beauty in the open space in music.
We absolutely love your new song! Can you tell us a bit about it and the writing process behind it?
Thank you so much! I actually wrote the piano solo part at the end first. I was working on it for days to get it right. It sounded almost show tuney and I had no idea what I was doing or why I was obsessed with getting it perfect. Once I finished that part I started singing over the chords and the lyrics sort of just flowed out. I wanted to make the rest of the song/layers of the song darker to juxtapose with the happier sounding keys at the end. It had a ton of open space and reverby keys, etc and I wanted a driving drum beat that just rode through the song. Neil played the part that you hear in the song for me and I loved it and we just went with it. I was still having melody issues with it though and called my friend Travis (from the band Frith) who helped me iron out some melody parts. Our friend Aaron (from the band Twin Oaks) added some guitar and bass parts, and Neil's son who lives in Canada (Nigel) happened to be in town playing some shows with us and he added a guitar part as well. The fact that so many of our musician friends that we love and respect had a hand in this song makes it extra special. Aaron also produced this with us, we recording it in bedrooms, the whole process was very easy, with a lot of space to create whatever we wanted in the comfort of our houses.
Where did the inspiration behind this song come from?
I wrote the song about finally letting go of a toxic relationship, so it means a lot to me personally. You know, I'm not sure but I will say I was obsessing over The National and diving back into Death Cab for Cutie's older songs again at the time.
Do you prefer the digital or more traditional way (cd, lp etc) of getting your music to your fans, why?
I think the majority of our fans listen on digital. We used to print CDs (which we only sell at shows) but I think 90% of humans don't own CD players anymore unless they have an old car (me). I do plan to print vinyl soon though... I'm pretty excited about that. I like that vinyl is a thing again. There's something special about the sound of a record, it feels more intimate.
Any upcoming shows in the near future? For a new fan who hasn’t seen you live yet, how would you describe your live performance?
I would say emotional, energetic, uplifting. I tend to tell little stories about the songs, lessons learned from parts of life and we really put our all into performing live. We want to give the audience everything we have and make sure they leave feeling more understood, inspired or maybe even wanting to create or make art of their own. Oh, and I can't stop moving on stage, so expect that for sure. I am currently living in Florida for work and Neil is back in LA so things are changing and we are working on writing/recording. We just finished some shows up here in Florida. I'm sure we'll do more.
Well, I am living in Florida, writing a lot. We finished recording the basic parts of an album we plan to release in the new year before I left. "Better Off" is one of the songs from that project. We went super organic with all these recordings. It's an emotional set of songs and I can't wait to finish and release them. Otherwise we decided to change up things completely and make a move to Nashville in the new year. So, there's a lot of growth, change and new art coming up in future. We also have a couple music videos coming soon, including one for this song. Before we release the album we plan to release a few more singles. We have a lot in the works!What’s next for the band?