“It was insanely fun!,” says Hilarie Sidney of The High Water Marks about making “Your Next Wolf,” the band’s upcoming 17-track album, scheduled for release on June 9 via Chicago-based imprint Minty Fresh.
“Your Next Wolf” is the third “comeback” record in as many years by Sidney and her band mates in The High Water Marks, following the end of a 13-year absence.
The songs on “Your Next Wolf” contain all the memorable pop melodies, intricate, blazing guitar solos and riffs, washes of psychedelia and percussive punch (plus Sidney’s unmistakable voice) that have been trademarks of her long music career. Here, they are an even more to-the-point, sophisticated, and amped up experience.
Based in both Grøa, Norway and Lexington, KY, the current incarnation of The High Water Marks — which includes Sidney, Per Ole Bratset, Øystein Megård, and Logan Miller — had never performed live in the same room.
That was until October of 2022 when, “We played our first show with all four of us together in Oslo opening for Pavement,” Sidney says.
Most artists would consider this a big break, but Sidney goes way back with Stephen Malkmus and the boys, having toured together before as part of her previous band The Apples In Stereo.
The Apples In Stereo is one of the three cornerstone groups (along with Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control) that comprised the Elephant 6 Recording Co., the revered recording collective and record company that was the recent subject of a festival circuit feature documentary and an exhaustively researched book, both released in 2022.
Sidney was the sole female co-founder of Elephant 6 and The Apples, but in a music world where women continue to fight for recognition from gatekeeping men, this fact remains one that must continue to be talked about.
“It’s not often mentioned how much influence women had over the Elephant 6 movement at the time,” explains Bratset. “Hilarie is the founding member cranking out the most exciting new music right now.”
And “Your Next Wolf” is pretty exciting!
This time, the band was able to record in the same room at Miller’s studio in Kentucky.
“After making two albums remotely, we proved that we could come together in person and make music that way too,” Sidney says.
Acclaimed engineer, Justin Pizzoferrato (The Pixes, Lou Barlow, Dinosaur Jr) had become a fan of The High Water Marks and offered to mix “Your Next Wolf,” resulting in the most in-your-face sounding crunch that The High Water Marks has ever produced.
“Your Next Wolf” does not let up!
Once again, the record is accompanied by hand-drawn art by Bratset, whose images have become synonymous with The High Water Marks and something that fans immediately recognize.
“We are really happy with this record and we feel like it has the cohesive band sound and flow we were going for,” Sidney concludes.
“Your Next Wolf” by The High Water Marks arrives June 9, 2023 via Minty Fresh. The album’s first single “Trouble From The East” is out now.