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Highline deep dive into the best Brit-meets-American indie-rock tracks

We pick the hottest new acts so you can tell your friends you heard them first. Meet Sydney four-piece Highline who are channelling Brit-meets-American indie rock on new single 'Shy Today'.

On new single ‘Shy Today’, Sydney four-piece Highline are channelling the energy and charm of the British and American indie-rock sounds.

The single taps into the band’s usual warm Brit-rock influences – with nods to the likes of Radiohead and Coldplay – building on the sound heard across their sophomore EP ‘Off Track’. But here, they are also throwing in something a little different, diving into American indie-rock thanks to influences like Real Estate.

Don’t let the gentle opening fool you, this one erupts into a huge, anthemic chorus readymade for the live stage.

The new single build on what has been a big few years for Highline. 2021 EP ‘Off Track’ followed the release of singles ‘Staying Sane’ and ‘Chasing Heaven’, as well as their return to the live stage for a sold out single launch in their home of Sydney.

The releases were met with a stack of praise from the likes of MTV Australia, Spotify, triple j, triple j Unearthed, Life Without Andy, Pilerats, Australian Guitar Magazine, Tone Deaf, andThe Music, to name a few.

Although Highline are still in their early days, with a discography only stretching back to 2019, the band’s four members have a long history together. Having spent their earliest days rehearsing on school lunch breaks after first playing music together in their school jazz band, it is their genre-blending style of indie rock that has been turning heads across the last few years.

Shy Today’ was born after Sam recorded an idea after a night out. It’s a song about wanting to reconnect with someone you’ve grown apart from, but not having the courage to do so. 

We’re very happy to say we tore an acoustic ballad apart as a band to shape Shy Today into what it is now. Tucked away in a back room of an inner-west rehearsal studio, we threw influences back and forth and asked each other what sort of song we wanted to make. It needed to be soft, loud, filled with noise but also filled with space, slow but also fast. Considering the criteria, we were really proud of how we fit it all into four minutes and satisfied the brit-rock, american indie and garage rock sides of our cravings. It was a special process that built up our confidence in trying new songwriting ideas.

HIGHLINE ON NEW SINGLE ‘SHY TODAY’

To celebrate the release of their new single ‘Shy Today’, Highline shares a playlist of the best Brit-meets-American indie-rock tracks

Check out ‘Shy Today’ by Highline

Highline – Shy Today (Official Music Video)

Highline shares their favourite Brit-meets-American indie-rock tracks:

Real Estate – Two Arrows

“It was the rhythms in the breakdown that inspired how we used rhythm in our bridge/outro. Towards the end of the song, the drums have some weighty fills that complement the guitar melody well, which is what we were going for in ‘Shy Today’.”

Coldplay – Rush of Blood to the Head

“This song definitely has elements that probably crept into ‘Shy Today’; the sad vocals, the slide guitar, and a nice balance between a strong rock energy in the choruses and a sad and reflective mood in the verse.”

A Rush of Blood to the Head

Carla Geneve – The Right Reasons

“Jim found this song and showed it to the band and we were all pretty amazed at how sad and emotional it is. Other than the general sombreness, the simple but solid drum-beat in this song definitely influenced the beat in the second verse.”

Carla Geneve – The Right Reasons (Official Music Video)

Blondes – Coming Of Age

“This is Laid Back American Indie Pop.”

Blondes – Coming of Age

Don West – Pink to Blue

“Awesome vocal tone and a great sydney artist that Sam, Rhys and James have been listening to of late. Buildup at the end with the ambient guitars inspired the big outro.”

DMA’S – We Are Midnight

“‘We Are Midnight’ came out the day we went up to the studio to record ‘Shy Today’, a surprise release from our collective favourite band. It just gave us a spring in our step for our whole stay at The Grove Studios.”

DMA'S – We Are Midnight (Official Video)

Radiohead – True Love Waits

“Emotional heartfelt lyrics with a stripped back vocal performance that inspired the verses. James would listen to this song by himself for hours at The Grove.”

True Love Waits (Live in Oslo)

Mac DeMarco – Brother

“This track encapsulates the chorus drowned indie sound that tends to show up in a lot of our songs. Balanced well with great vocals. A good example of simplicity working well.”

Jeff Buckley – Lover, You Should’ve Come Over

“Singer-songwriter charm and lyrics with an impressive guitar performance and harmony. Looked at this as to how to balance our singer-songwriter influences and more technical influences.”

Jeff Buckley – Lover, You Should've Come Over (Audio)

Check out the full playlist:

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