The High Water Marks—fronted by Hilarie Sidney, co-founder of Elephant Six collective and The Apples in Stereo—are releasing a new album, Proclaimer of Things, on February 4 via Minty Fresh Records. Today, the group has shared a new track from the album, titled “Fantastic Machine.” It’s a fuzzy, psychedelic pop single with big hooks and swirling effects, and it features lead vocals from the group’s Per Ole Bratset.
The group released the following statement about the new track:
“This song is about the fantastic machine that is social media… just a little bit of the things that make you sick. Do you really have to make a mark? Is it really necessary? Just a bit of social commentary.
“There has been a lot of talk about machines that are helpful, good, and maybe even great, since the industrial revolution. But this song is about a machine that is fantastic. So fantastic that it takes on a life of its own. It’s built to last. Fantastic in the good sense because it’s a marvel of both production and ingenuity.
“At the same time, it is not so fantastic when you think about how it got away from us. It makes us need to hide and run in another direction. We hide from our creation, because it’s taken over our lives both in the way we think, and the things that we do. We can’t lose ourselves!
“It is fantastic to think a machine like this exists, it lives in this world at the same time as us, but it’s also a monster that we created without realizing it.
“Fun fact: The solo at the end of the song was recorded in one take when Per Ole was testing if the fuzz pedal was right for the tune. I guess it was, because we kept it. He channeled his inner Slash on that one for sure.”
Hear “Fantastic Machine” below.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.