high jump’s debut EP ‘001’ elevates dream-pop with breezy soundscapes

"We didn’t set out to achieve or replicate any specific sound. There’s a blend of influences in there, from The War on Drugs and Cocteau Twins to Jai Paul and Toro Y Moi"
7 June 2024

Emerging duo high jump, the brainchild of Harry Martin and Rick Holland, is making waves in the music industry with their debut EP 001. Known for their breezy and musically rich soundscapes, the pair has garnered attention from major press outlets and received international radio play on KEXP, Amazing Radio, and BBC Introducing. Their music has also been featured on editorial playlists by Spotify and Apple Music.

Previously featured in FM Fame Magazine for their single Tide Away ahead of the debut EP, high jump continues to elevate London’s dream-pop scene.

Mixed by acclaimed engineer Max Cooke (GoodBooks, Ellie Goulding), 001 showcases high jump’s unique blend of warming lo-fi electronics, jangly, modulation-soaked guitar lines, and catchy vocal melodies. The resulting sound falls somewhere between electronic dream-pop and indietronica.

Reflecting on the EP, Harry Martin and Rick Holland describe their collaborative process. Harry began writing and sending unsolicited demos to Rick, who is also the drummer for the band Tungz. Through a series of voice notes and ad hoc studio sessions, they selected the most promising songs, creating a collection significant enough to share. Beginning with the single M2K at the end of 2023, they expanded their reach beyond their close circle of friends.

The duo share: “Over the last couple of years I (Harry) was writing and sending unsolicited demos to Rick, drummer in the band Tungz. Rick managed to cherry-pick the most promising of these through a series of long voice notes and ad hoc studio sessions, and we soon had a collection of songs that felt significant enough to share. Starting with ‘M2K’ at the end of 2023, we decided to start putting some ideas together and broadcast these tunes further than our friendship group.

The sound of the collection is really an anecdotal summation of our influences and the music we’ve enjoyed recently. We didn’t set out to achieve or replicate any specific sound and there’s a blend of influences in there, from The War on Drugs and Cocteau Twins to Jai Paul and Toro Y Moi. We love the counterbalancing senses of scale we’ve managed to capture in these six tracks. All of them started in bedrooms and huddled corners of our day-to-day, and there are plenty of moments where you can feel that intimacy, but working at Snap! Studios with Max Cooke to finish the recordings really enhanced the more ambitious sections with extra layers of grandeur and finesse.

 Lyrically the EP trails and explores different layers and perspectives of over-nostalgia, digging into how this can affect our appreciation of the present. This collection of songs was written at a time when big life decisions and junctures were arriving at an uncomfortable pace, which probably explains how this feeling of lament and resistance to change percolated across the EP on various levels.

These themes also bleed into the high jump ethos. It’s a kinetic blend of inspiration and expression, and we wanted to relay this snapshot of our identity on that exact premise. Taking inspiration from fashion cycles and seasonal variations, we set out to epitomise ourselves in a specific moment. That’s what makes this stage of the high jump evolution so exciting, and we can’t wait for 001 to be an introduction to the many releases and performances we have planned for the coming months.”

The six tracks on 001 capture an intimate yet ambitious sound. Initially crafted in bedrooms and small spaces, the recordings were later enhanced at Snap! Studios with Max Cooke, adding layers of grandeur and finesse. The EP explores the theme of over-nostalgia and its impact on appreciating the present, reflecting a period of transformative change for the duo. These songs distill the essence of protest and yearning, born from deep introspection.

Having spent considerable time writing, recording, and collaborating, high jump has quickly established themselves as one to watch.