New Music


From Jazz Bands to Brit Rock – A Playlist Of Highline’s Influences

On new single ‘Staying Sane’, Sydney four-piece Highline are showcasing the best of their charming brand of indie rock and knack for brilliantly relatable lyricism.

‘Staying Sane’ was written after a relationship of mine fell through. It touches on the subject of the post-relationship conversations we had, and the push and pull games that were being played. It’s about caring for someone despite the relationship being over, and having to be selfish in a way, and take care of yourself instead of continuing to support that someone you loved/love.

Sam Rigney, Highline frontman

Starting out in their school jazz band, Highline are carving out their own path thanks to their genre-blending indie rock.

Despite the last 12 months we’ve had, 2020 was a landmark year for the band. Off the back of their debut EP Strictly Dreaming, the band earned nods from Spotify, triple j Unearthed, and Triple R alongside a sold out hometown show at The Lansdowne.

Now, Highline are kicking into 2021 with a new single, the sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-worthy ‘Staying Sane’. Catchy melodies bring together the best of indie-rock and brit-pop into a very good time, ensuring the band should be on your radar this year.

To celebrate the single, Highline have pulled together a playlist of some of their biggest influences – and as you’d expect from these genre-benders, it is an eclectic mix.

Check out ‘Staying Sane’ by Highline:

War On Drugs – ‘Pain’

We went through a big phase mid-2020 of constantly listening to the War on Drugs. Resultantly, the influence crept into the new record. We covered this track at our sitdown shows in 2020 and early this year.

Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington – ‘Caravan’

 It was our bandleader’s last year before retiring and he wanted to throw a ridiculously difficult piece at us. We (sort of) played it with the drum solo and all.

Arctic Monkeys – ‘I Bet you Look Good on The Dancefloor’

All of us are big Arctic Monkeys fans. We used to religiously play this as an encore in 2019.

DMA’S – ‘Play It Out’

We started casually playing as a rock band back at the end of 2016. That was the year Hills End came out and it was probably the first song we played together. We played it countless times at our early shows.

Pink Floyd – ‘Echoes’

Like a lot of bands, Pink Floyd was a huge point of interest for us when we were much younger.

Coldplay – ‘Spies’

Early Coldplay has a sound similar to ours; dreamy rock songs with acoustic guitar. Parachutes and Rush of Blood to Head have some of our favourite songs and we’ve covered songs from these albums in the past.

Tame Impala – ‘Apocalypse Dreams’

Rhys and James used to play this back in year 11 in Rhys’ old garage. Both are massive fans of Innerspeaker/Lonerism era Tame Impala and ‘Apocalypse Dreams’ is probably the peak of those two albums.

Oasis – ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’

Sums up Oasis perfectly. The Beatles with overdrive, complete with Liam’s swagger.

Led Zeppelin – ‘Good Times Bad Times’

Bit of a jam going on here. Jim, James and Rhys listened to a good deal of Led Zeppelin, being attracted to the crazy drums, wild guitar solos, and boss basslines. This song has a similar energy and dynamic to our jams in the garage.

Jimi Hendrix – ‘Red House’

A simple 12-bar blues with some iconic lyrics. In 2019, we would often drop this into a set or a blues jam just to switch things up a bit. Also, it’s Hendrix.

Paul Kelly – ‘Before Too Long’

Dreamy acoustic guitar song that has some parallels to our sound.

Planet – ‘Northern Skyline’

We were all influenced by PLANET’s songs that came out around the time of when we formed.

Now you’ve got to know Highline a little better, make sure you follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep updated on everything they’re up to in 2021.

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