‘Finding positivity along your journey’

Douglas Haynes from Highs says the group’s music has a theme of nature

The three members of Toronto-based indie band Highs all graduated from the Queen’s Concurrent Education program.
The three members of Toronto-based indie band Highs all graduated from the Queen’s Concurrent Education program.

A trip halfway across the world to Tanzania was all it took to jump start the three man band Highs.

Band members Doug Haynes, Karrie Douglas and Kevin Douglas Ledlow are a trio of comical coincidence.

“When we realized we all had ‘Douglas’ in our names, we thought ‘Hey! We should be the Douglas Band!’ and obviously we didn’t name ourselves that, but we felt like it was destiny,” Haynes said.

For the indie pop band, it’s all about using their music to have fun and making sure the audience is having a good time.

The band does this by wearing face paint and sometimes giving the audience their own drum sticks so they can join in on the music, Haynes said.

You may have to listen to some of the band’s songs more than once to pick up on the musical bits and pieces of afrojazz and dance pop intertwined in the melodies.

“Instead of one basic rhythm, we try to get a lot of eclectic percussion,” Haynes said. “We try to incorporate some afrobeat rhythms, and it’s kind of got some reverb at times, and some trebly guitar.”

Songs like “Nomads” and “Year of the Dragon” offer a very soothing appeal, as their free-form calls to the senses in an almost primordial way.

“There’s a lot of this natural theme to our music, like if you look at our lyrics there’s this theme of nature and exploring,” Haynes said.

Unlike many indie bands, the group doesn’t have a lot of breakup songs, or songs based on social issues.

“There’s a lot of stuff we could write about that we might feel compelled to write about, but a lot of our stuff is about finding positivity along your journey,” he said.

Highs will be playing Clark Hall Pub on Oct. 4.

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