While the High Dials busy themselves putting the final touches on an upcoming album (release date imminent!), their back catalogue of spaced-out pop continues to drift out into the wider world.
The band is currently enjoying mainstream exposure through the popular Netflix series “House of Cards”. Listen for their song “Uruguay” off of 2010’s “Anthems for Doomed Youth” in episode 208 of Season 2, released last week!
At the end of 2011, over a few warm Christmas wines whilst listening to Hall & Oates on repeat, the High Dials made a big decision. It was time to take a serious break. Rather than simply drift into a new album project, the band made a promise to one another- to indulge in some creative exploration without expectations or any timetable; to break as many unconscious rules as possible and see where the muse might lead them – hopefully exciting new and unvisited places.
On Oct. 30th, almost two years down the road, the self-imposed exile finally came to an end as long-time members Trevor Anderson, Robbie MacArthur and George Donoso took to a stage in Montreal to unveil some new material (and a couple of new musicians, Sheenah and Charles, on keys and bass). Other than a brief studio teaser and cool Stones cover, this has been the only sound the world has heard from the High Dials in, well, bloody ages!
On April 23rd, it will be 50 years to the day that an über-cool 19-year old kid walked into a UK club to catch a set by a local blues band called the Rollin’ Stones.
Young Mr. Oldham promptly added a “g” to their name before making over their sound and style for long-term adulation by world teen-dom. You know the rest of the story.
Less known is how this young hustler then created one of the world’s coolest-ever labels – Immediate – where, inspired by Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, he arranged and released the cult classic – “The Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra Play the Rolling Stones Songbook”.
Fast forward to 2011. The High Dials receive a call from Mr. Oldham’s Colombian headquarters. Would they like to be a part of Rolling Stones Songbook Volume 2? In a heartbeat, “She Smiled Sweetly” is snapped up, string sections are summoned and timpanis dusted off, all in time for the Stones’ golden jubilee.
Plenty far more famous people are also invited to the party- like Johnny Marr, Gryff Rhys and Elliot Easton of the Cars, each collaborating on a different Oldham-era Stones gem.
Rolling Stones Songbook Vol. 2 was released in Canada this past week on Universal. Get it via iTunes or Amazon. A High Dials video is also coming soon – details to follow.
The High Dials are currently recording for a new album (release date unknown).
Here’s a fly-on-the-wall view of the boys as they work a new song entitled “Flags”. No vocals in this preview, but an interesting background blend of folk, cumbia, and spaghetti western sounds that is bound to intrigue!
Keep your eye on this site for more studio updates over the coming months.
The High Dials begin work on a new studio album in June.
They’ll be collaborating with producer Marc Bell at Troublemakers Studio in Montreal’s Little Italy neighborhood.
The Montreal-based producer’s credits include production for Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, Bran Van 3000, Malicious, Misstress Barbara, Jason Bajada, Cafe Fuego and Nadja. He is known for a genre-bending production approach that combines elements of soul, hip-hop, RnB, folk, rock and world music. His taste for diverse sounds and musical styles attracted The High Dials, currently finding inspiration in experimentation in the wake of recent film soundtrack work.
We’ll be posting some footage of the band working in the studio over the coming months as the project progresses.