Open Season // High Highs

Jack Milas and Oli Chang began making music together in their native city of Sydney, Australia. But in the early months of 2010, the two musicians found themselves in a place halfway across the world; a little place we like to call Brooklyn. “We were both in a bunch of bands back in Sydney,” says Jack. “Oli was in a great band called Theatre of Disco. They made incredible dance music.” Looking towards the new year, Jack continues, “We both had fun in Sydney. It’s a small community. Sydney is beautiful, and we miss it, but for High Highs we feel like we’re really settling in well with the live scene here in New York.” If  “settling in” is playing a sold-out show with The Radio Dept. at the Knitting Factory, becoming a part of The Windish Agency family, and being named one of Prefix Mag’s eight bands to watch during CMJ, then yes, we’d say they are settling in just fine.

Picturesque as can be, the video for “Open Season” was shot over a couple of days with a few of Jack and Oli’s buddies. “Our good friends Thomas and Tim had the idea to use the pianos that were all over the city in the summer.” Jack tells us that the mysterious pianos came from an “organization called Play Me I’m Yours. [Our friend] Thomas did some location scouting and picked a few pianos in particular. Two on the waterfront in Queens, one in Coney Island, one in Times Square, one in Meatpacking and one in TriBeca.” Reflecting on the experience, Jack says, “We went to each location over a few days, including Coney Island at 6am, which [he admits] was a killer.”

As most good collaborations go, these two boys from Australia seem to work together seamlessly. “Most of the songs start as an idea I have on guitar, which I then send to Oli,” explains Jack. “Oli has lots of great ideas and a great ear for melodies and warm textures. He produces it and makes it sound like a High Highs song.” While the Arcade dreams of sunnier days to come, the inviting warmth of High Highs will definitely keep us company in these imminent snowy months.

—Annick Mayer