Highasakite are a day off releasing Camp Echo when we meet up in Brighton ahead of their Great Escape showcase. I sit down over some food with the gorgeous Ingrid Håvik and Marte Eberson – burgers, salads, milkshakes. The good stuff.
Delving into the Norwegian group’s highly anticipated third album, both Håvik and Eberson describe the effect a solid amount of touring wound up having on the band’s creative process once they’d turned their attention towards making a follow up to 2014’s Silent Treatment.
Their new material sees Highasakite depart slightly from the loftier, indie stylings their previous releases saw the band adored as a result of, heading into some darker and more intricately textured electronic territory. Thematically, Camp Echo paints a more severe, sinister soundscape picture than the band we knew circa-“Since Last Wednesday”, but its final form definitely is not lacking any of that sweeping gorgeousness that we’ve come to love Highasakite for producing.
“We listened to so much music, [so] it started with us being on tour,” Håvik explains. “It gave us a hunch of what it could be like. We had to make sounds that fit into a more electronic soundscape, so I made some songs and then we started arranging them together. They were made at home in the studio; we jammed on them, but they were very well-produced and very well thought out. It does have a live, organic feeling, but it didn’t necessarily come from that flowing place.:
With such a musical step forward, naturally, comes a new live show and for fans gathered at Komedia in Brighton for the band’s show that night, they were in for Highasakite’s first proper run on stage with the live material.
“It feels big, you know?” Håvik says. “We have a lot of ambitions now and we have prepared the shows to be as big. At the same time, I think it works very well on the small stages too; this is our first concert with these songs, so it’s nice to start here.”
The tour schedule Highasakite are embarking on through June is only going to get busier too, with various headline shows scattered across Europe slotted in around must-see sets at the likes of Glastonbury, Roskilde and Latitude festivals, before they take Camp Echo to America for the first time, come September.
Sitting across from Håvik and Eberson as we discuss the record in amongst conversations about the Kardashians and Håvik’s birthday (which she was celebrating in Brighton), there was a feeling that I was getting these two musicians in that calm-before-the-storm period. They expressed definite enthusiasm when it came to their new music but they also remained coolly confident when it came to talking me through Camp Echo‘s creative process.
“I have a feeling that all of us had a clearer idea of what we wanted to do with the album.” Eberson says. “Ingrid would have her thoughts, I’d have my thoughts and we’d discuss it. It’s been fun!”
“It’s strange sometimes to just talk about something you have made,” she adds, noting her excitement towards the album finally being shared with others. “I think people have another opinion on how it actually sounds. They’re thinking about different things to what you’re thinking about. I think it’s great to finally talk about the new album, especially when other people are able to listen to it.”
Of the band’s new direction they’ve been exploring on Camp Echo too, Eberson is keen to see where the album goes once Highasakite fully hits its stride in bringing the music to life live.
“I think it’s very fun to try something new,” she agrees. “To be able to unfold yourself and not to do the same and what is expected of you. It’s been cool to just go ahead and make this music. I feel like that’s a good feeling, that we have evolved as musicians in this band.”
Camp Echo is out now.
Photo: Lasse Fløde