Highlands specialize in using mammoth guitar swells, mesmerizing rhythms and rippling vocal delay to tear a hole in the universe big enough for you to walk through. It's probably why the title of their shoegazing, sophomore album Dark Matter Traveler (released in June) seems so fitting. In the tradition of '90s shoegaze predecessors like Slowdive and Ride, Highlands places an emphasis on creating gigantic songs that wind, bend and blend into each other seamlessly. And as always, the journey to the end of the album is a scenic one.
Over the summer, guitarist/vocalist Scott Holmes, along with guitarist Stephen Edmunds, drummer Chris Figlewicz and bassist Beau Balek worked on perfecting the task of bringing the headphone experience of Dark Matter Traveler to life on stage. Before you catch them tomorrow as part of the lineup for Long Beach Psych Night at Alex's Bar, we spoke to Holmes about fighting through the growing pains of their second album, the return of some of the biggest bands in the shoegaze scene, and the story behind the compelling artwork they chose for their album cover.