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The Berries Share New Album 'High Flying Man'

The Berries Share New Album 'High Flying Man'

It's the third album for Matt Berry’s pseudo-eponymous project.

Faced with the perils of an isolating world, High Flying Man reignites the tradition of great American songwriting, speaking in the voice of the longing masses. At heart, Berry demands more life, rejecting both arty cynicism and nostalgic escapism.

It's the third album for Matt Berry's pseudo-eponymous project. Loss and desire take center stage as Berry delves deep into 21st century malaise, crafting densely layered songs which project an unshakable yearning for deliverance from the world's shortcomings.

Each track extends an outstretched palm towards universal connection, blending a complex mix of pop hooks, rock swagger, and psychedelia into dejected populist anthems.

Berry cut his teeth at a young age playing in the bands Happy Diving (Topshelf Records) and Big Bite (Pop Wig), and has since regularly served as a touring member for bands like Angel Du$t and Dark Tea. His early work solidified his position as an upcoming star in the world of fuzzed-out indie rock, earning him tours and opening slots with the likes of Turnstile, Dinosaur Jr., Nothing and The Swirlies.

With The Berries, however, Berry turns the Big Muffs down (although not off), creating sonic space to stretch his wings as a burgeoning pop songwriter. The psychedelic-surrealist textures of his earlier output are not gone, per say, but rather find themselves folded into more expansive, rock-oriented arrangements, becoming accouterments as opposed to the driving force of each song itself.

High Flying Man follows The Berries' previous releases, 2018's Start All Over Again and 2019's Berryland. While longtime listeners will undoubtedly recognize Berry's disaffected drawl and melodic sensibility, High Flying Man's complex arrangements and expansive sonic landscape place it well apart from its predecessors.

Berry enlisted live band members Danny Paul (drums), Emma Danner (backing vocals), and Lance Umble (bass) during the recording of High Flying Man, as well as the mixing talents of Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck, Guided by Voices), breaking from the self-produced home recording ethos of the previous Berries LPs.

The collaborative nature of High Flying Man's recording process is reflected in the quality of each song's arrangement. Freed from the pressure of being individually responsible for every detail committed to tape, Berry was able to focus his attention more fully on the creative demands of constructing a dynamic and cohesive record.

High Flying Man pivots away from any sort of obvious nod to Americana tropes, baggy British attitude, or Neil Young-esque riffing, leaning head on into a lush, idiosyncratic grandeur.

Each track evokes the irreverent and flashy style of a songwriting voice finding itself for the first time. Berry's guitar heroics extend towards new heights, capturing the wicked emotion of a 21st century "November Rain" ("High Flying Man").

Unusual stylistic juxtapositions give certain songs an almost timeless quality: Bert Jansch-esque crooning finds its counterpoint in sweeping, distortion-soaked riffs ("A Drop of Rain"), the primitive rhythms of Amon Duul are given an arena-sized, Britpop facelift ("Life's Blood").

On High Flying Man, however, the ballad reigns supreme. "Down That Road Again" drips with sentimentality, powered by soft, undeniable pop melodies and pared-down chord progressions. Album-centerpiece "Eagle Eye" teeters between pure grace and extreme sorrow, unfolding into a massive, immediately memorable tide of melancholic beauty.

With High Flying Man, Berry embraces undying love in the face of isolation. Daring to want more life becomes a spiritual rallying cry against a world that has failed to make life either meaningful or beautiful. At their core, these songs are not about revolution, but they are about the faith that gives something like revolution a purpose in the first place.

The Berries are hosting a special LA record release show at Zebulon next Monday, August 22 with Cody Wyoming and On Being An Angel. Next month they hit the road on a West Coast run with labelmates Narrow Head. See below for a full list of dates.

Listen to the new album here:

The Berries Live Dates

8/22 - Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon (Record Release Show)

9/29 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah ~

9/30 - Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon ~

10/1 - Oakland, CA - Starline Social Club ~

10/3 - Seattle, WA - Barboza ~

10/4 - Vancouver, BC - The Fox Cabaret ~

10/5 - Portland, OR - Polaris Hall ~

10/7 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst Atrium ~

10/9 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room ~

~ w/ Narrow Head

Regional Awards


From This Author - Michael Major


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