Album Review: Camp Echo by Highasakite

When asked by others to describe Highasakite’s new album Camp Echo, the word powerful instinctively comes to mind every time, despite the feeling that even that doesn’t quite capture the force of this band. 

A well known fact about Highaskite is their penchant for inspiring deeper thinking to their music. Whilst confirming that they never want to try to influence anyone or even definitively mark their songs as political, once you really listen to the tracks, it’s hard to ignore the poignancy behind the lyrics. Songs like ‘Golden Ticket’ that references a post World War II poem ‘Det er ingen hverdag mer’ [translation: ‘There’s no more every day’] provide a hidden depth to the electronic-pop feel to the band’s music. The name of the album itself is also a reference to one of the seven detention camps within Guantanamo Bay, Front woman Ingrid calls Camp Echo a “state of mind”. 

Opening track ‘My Name is Liar’ is a nod to former U.S president George W. Bush, with the following tracks echoing issues of a post-9/11 world. Emerson explains: “We were in our teens when 9/11 happened… Everything was just falling apart in a way. It was strange to see”. Lyrics like “I am on fire and broken from within” are sung with enchanting harmonies that leave the hairs standing on the back of my neck and keep me hanging on for the next shiver-inducing line. It’s not often with music similar to Highasakite (i.e. synth-based pop/indie-rock, EDM etc) that I find myself really absorbing the lyrics in the way that I have done with this album. Too often, the dominant base line or beat keeps you listening rather than the lyrics. But with Camp Echo, it is a perfect balance of the two. 

For a long time, ‘Someone Who’ll Get It’ was consistently the track I’d listen to on repeat as the chorus circulated round my head for weeks, but the great thing about Camp Echo is there aren’t any filler tracks; each track is strong in its own right. This week, ‘God Don’t Leave Me’ is my go-to track for its delicacy and simplicity. Next week, I’m sure a different track will take its place.

Camp Echo is an album for true music lovers; people who want to feel something when they hear a song, and have it stick with them for some time afterwards. Even if you were to ignore the underlying political commentary, this is an album filled with memorable tracks that will most definitely get you looking up Highasakite’s name. 

Are you a fan of Highasakite? What do you think of the new album? Let us know in the comments below!