Tall Heights has mastered an album that infuses with your mind to bring “feel-good” thoughts. That album is Neptune, which is a perfect name for this 12-track record. Tim Harrington and Paul Wright sing on life like two distant beings observing earthly life from a cosmic abode.
I had the pleasure of seeing Tall Heights in concert, and, hearing their album, I am surprised to witness the vast difference of their music between live and recorded. Live, their songs come off like desert folk music, which is beautiful in its own right. The journeying aspect of their lyrics came to life when they played in concert, but in their album it is the dreaminess of their words that is summoned. While live I picked up their written sentiments of longing for love and betterment, in Neptune they vocally and instrumentally sound starry-eyed. Like two men deciding to dream bigger and aim higher, which is what made the album quietly stunning. It is simple in its rhythms and lyrics, but vast in its effect to make you want to look up at the sky and wonder. Seeing their ability to draw out angst and humor in concert, but then drive beauty and loveliness in album is just another certification that they will rise as far as I predicted. It is not often that you feel like a band is a “two for one deal”, which is why I am happy I saw them in concert and then heard their album; I was able to pick up how magnificently talented they are.
Neptune sonically captivates, in part, because it is so sweet to the ears. As I mentioned, the album makes you want to look and wonder, which is a gift in itself. In a world where looking to the ground feels more natural then looking up, Neptune enters your spirit like a giant glass of water. You did not know how thirsty you were to look up, see the sky, and feel yourself apart of it. Hence, the wonder of this album is that Wright and Harrington sonically remind listeners that earth is apart of the universe. For however basic they may feel over their human issues of inner emptiness and struggling to receive love, they approach their music, and thus their selves, like universal beings. For them, light is a common state and an easing struggle to maintain. Thus, Wright and Harrington may play like they are amongst the stars, yet the humanity of their vocals and lyrics draws the cosmos back to earth. Therefore, while everyday virtue and light can feel more celestial and gone, Neptune feels like it is making a whimsical return.
Part of Neptune’s charm and otherworld sound, is that it is rhythmically kind. Between Wright’s cello strums and Harrignton’s guitar strikes, you feel as if someone has discovered the gentility of your spirit. Tall Heights is not trying to offer escapism but elevation. They are not trying to take you out of your current moment, but help you discover the goodness of it. The softness of their voices and acoustics contain an inherent delicacy that is comparable to a mother’s lullaby: warm and safe in its beauty. Therefore, I end my review on these few notes. Tall Heights’s Neptune is rivetingly pretty. It is lovely in rhythm and heartfelt in its words, which makes its specialness hard to capture. “Special” cannot be captured…. only experienced and manifested. Tall Heights has done this through Neptune.
Horse Water: a nice hook and coo is what makes a radio hit. This song is instantly memorable in its lush imagery and catchy tuning. You will find yourself singing it immediately.
No Man Alive: this song feels like it came from Coldplay’s greatest hits. It is exudes the power of progressive rock to pick up a spirit through story- telling, ornate instrumentals, and harmonies that make you think you have entered a church. Altogether, it is a beautiful, spiritual track.
Growing: Again, Wright and Harrington prove they were destined to harmonize together. When their voices unite you feel as if you are swimming in a clear, blue ocean and absorbing its calm. Moreover, the lyrics carry a trance-like epiphany as they both sing, “I’m sitting there. Everything I know is a lie”. You join them in their realization that being bad does not bring you good.
Cross My Mind: Wright’s beautiful cello playing and Harrington’s gentle vocals make you feel like you have fallen into a moment of self-reflection. As Harrington sings “There is less inside me now”, you feel opened and released from any slight or stress.
Two Blue Eyes: this song solidified that Tall Heights is the Millennial Version of Simon and Garfunkel. Their melodies and lyrics summon the youthful stories that made permanent music legends out of the 70’s classic folk-rock duo.
Click here to learn more of the illustrious Tall Heights and to buy their album Neptune on August 19.