Norway’s Highasakite are quite an interesting amalgamation… often leaving you feeling like you’re, well… high as a kite… but I mean that in the best way possible. They use postmodern synthetics to channel the spirit of both folk and classical music, but with the bravado of a rock outfit and the aesthetic of the best kind of retro pop. They seem to have a fun and danceable way of looking at some of the heavier and more mystifying facets of the human experience. They began as a duo, when Ingrid Helene Håvik and drummer Trond Bersu, both raised in musical families, met while studying Jazz (They founded the project as an excuse to spend more time together.) They are currently a five-piece, who released All That Floats Will Rain last year to astounding critical acclaim in Norway. They were introduced to America earlier this year, with their five-song EP, In and Out of Weeks, and a string of US dates. I recently chatted with Ingrid about the band’s influences, critical praise, and plans for the rest of 2013… They’re hoping to be back within our reach in the very near future.
Izzy Cihak: You recently released your In and Out of Weeks EP in the US. How would you characterize its sounds? You’ve drawn comparisons to a variety of varied genres.
Ingrid Helene Håvik: I wouldn’t characterize it. I would try to avoid that as much as I can.
IC: Is there a particular critical or musical comparison which you’re especially fond of? You’ve gained praise from a lot of substantial publications, in addition to Justin from Bon Iver.
IHH: No, no particular one. If people like it, then that is a good thing. It doesn’t really matter why. It doesn’t need to be compared by the right kind of music to flatter us. A person’s references say more about that person than the music he is listening to.
IC: Do you have a particular favorite track from the EP, or one that you feel best characterizes your current musical mindset? I’m actually most partial to “Winners Don’t Come Easy,” despite the fact that “Indian Summer” makes me think of my #1 crush… who is Native American.
IHH: I don’t really know if I have any favorites on the EP. I do, however, have a few favorites on the album that we released in Norway. Maybe you will hear them someday. 🙂
IC: What are your biggest influences and inspirations, whether musical or otherwise?
IHH: Everything is a big influence: the music I listen to and the people that make it, my relationships, my childhood, nature, and weather. Watching movies is also very inspiring… reading books. I think that the music I have written for the next album is strongly influenced by what my life has been like the last two years and I’m hoping that when I record it it will be documented and a new time in my life will come.
IC: You recently spent some time in the states. What were the highlights of your trek? Any favorite experiences or venues?
IHH: Just travelling in the states is a highlight in itself. I think there are so many beautiful places there. And it looks like home, like Europe, only that it’s completely different, too. Sometimes I felt like I was in Africa. We have seen it so many times on TV, too, so it feels more homely than many countries that are a lot closer to Norway.
IC: What are your most significant hopes and goals for the rest of 2013? Where do you feel your upcoming sounds are headed?
IHH: We are hoping to record an album that we are really happy and proud of, that we are saying something with that album. I’m not sure at all where our new material is headed. It’s all written, but not arranged. So I guess I know what I am trying to create. So the goal is just to come as close to that core as possible. We are hoping to tour as much as possible, too. We would love to come back to the states in 2013.