High Pulp's third full-length album, Days in the Desert reveals the band realizing their strengths, deepening their own bonds, and pushing all these skills into a thrilling new sonic vista all but unimaginable just a few years before.
High Pulp's sonic expedition, Days in the Desert, encapsulates the duality of its name - both a tangible journey across the Mojave Desert during the band's self-driven tours and a metaphysical quest undertaken by founder and drummer Bobby Granfelt. This album is a testament to looking inward, relying on personal instincts to forge ahead amidst the challenges of our time. Granfelt describes the desert as a "spiritual quest," where one must introspectively question the path taken: "Is this right? Is this good? Is it too out?" These inquiries become the compass guiding High Pulp's transformative musical voyage.
With Days in the Desert, High Pulp emerges fully realized, embracing their distinct sound on the West Coast scene. Rooted in jazz traditions while enamored with indie-rock and electronic influences, the band fearlessly amalgamates these sonic realms, birthing an artistry entirely their own. Drummer Bobby Granfelt articulates their outsider perspective, stating, "We're a bunch of outsiders who refused to be kept out. We've never had an academic approach to jazz - most of us grew up playing in DIY bands - so it was the rawness and the energy and the absolute freedom of the music that called to us in the first place."
Embracing bebop, punk rock, shoegaze, hip-hop, and electronic elements, the experimental jazz collective hints at the breakbeat stylings reminiscent of Louis Cole while reflecting the incessant stimuli that define our modern lives. The band’s musical landscape seamlessly fuses the vintage and the futuristic, paying homage to luminaries like Miles Davis and Duke Ellington while drawing inspiration from contemporary visionaries such as Aphex Twin and My Bloody Valentine.
While the core of High Pulp consists of seven talented individuals based in Seattle, their expansive sonic universe is enhanced by a diverse array of collaborators on the album. Saxophone virtuoso Jaleel Shaw (known for his work with Roy Haynes and the Mingus Big Band), harpist Brandee Younger (acclaimed for collaborations with Ravi Coltrane and the Roots), Grammy-nominated trumpeter Theo Coker, and keyboardist Jacob Mann (who has collaborated with Rufus Wainwright and Louis Cole) are among the special guests enlisted to stretch the boundaries of High Pulp's already vast musical landscape.
Days in the Desert is an extraordinary testament to musical exploration, inviting listeners on an introspective sojourn through their evocative soundscapes. It's an album that defies expectations, bridging the past and the future while remaining deeply rooted in the present.