Check out “Life is a Loan Shark” below
It’s been five years since former Glorium guitarist Ernest Salaz (and later of the moody dark pop band I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness) and Fugazi’s onetime Front of House engineer Nick Pellicciotto (from DC’s Edsel and New Wet Kojak) came together to form High Heavens.
And working with a new lineup that includes Salaz’s old Glorium rhythm section of bassist George Lara and drummer Juan Ramos, the duo has transformed its sound to exhibit a moodier sound indicative of Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtrack work and the style of the late Julee Cruise.
The group’s latest single “Life Is A Loan Shark,” which Rock & Roll Globe is happy to premiere today on the site, even features Salaz’s Austin homeboy Conrad Keely of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead on keyboards on the single, as well as sax and Rhodes piano on its flipside “Hundred Bullets.” The synth-heavy sound is further inspired by keyboardist Jeremy Erwin, who added to the tracks from his home in scenic Nederland, Colorado. The vocals and lyrics, meanwhile, are handled by John Matthew Walker.
The single was recorded and produced by Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn/Jack White, Modest Mouse, A Giant Dog, Sweet Spirit, and The Sword to name a few). Additional recording was done at The BBQ Shack by Austin heavy garage/psych/hardcore musician Jason Morales (guitarist for Tia Carrera, Black Mercy, Gorch Fock, Migas, Starfish and Olympia, WA’s Helltrout).
“‘Life is a Loan Shark’ was based off of an acoustic demo called ‘Bolero’ that I sent to the band, eventually completing and playing it live right before the world shut down in 2020,” Salaz explains of the song. “I really wanted to record it while it was hot but the other guys decided to move on. That’s when Johnny and I made the decision to track it with Stuart.
“I called up my old rhythm section from Glorium who drove in from San Antonio. We spent the whole day learning it and making it more minimal, with less of a rock sound, and more room to add layers later which I did at Jason Morales’s place. Once Jeremy added his keyboards remotely I knew we were on the right track! The isolated keyboards sound amazing. For me, it was a natural progression to take what I learned from my other bands to make something deep, lush, and immersive. Johnny and Stuart are the perfect conduits for all these pent up ideas I had.”
Listen to “Life Is A Loan Shark” below.