High Ends: “Downtown”

Photo by Mandy-Lyn

As the frontman for Yukon Blonde, Jeffrey Innes makes classic rock-inspired songs that have had his Vancouver hometown buzzing for years. Yukon Blonde is a perennial “next big thing” north of the border, even garnering a Polaris Prize nomination in 2010. But last year the group decided to take a break in between albums, and Innes soon found a lot of time on his hands. “I initially wanted to do something that was really collaborative, so I wrote a bunch of songs with the idea of bringing friends in,” Innes says. “But all of my friends were on tour, so I ended up doing it myself.” Thus, High Ends was born.

Super Class, out October 7, ended up featuring friends from the New Pornographers, but mostly the spotlight is on Innes. He largely puts down the guitar in favor of analog synthesizers and a more dance-pop sound. On “Downtown,” the music stutters along at a languid pace, all the better to highlight Innes’ deadpan delivery. “Just a second while I fix my whole life,” he smirks. He sounds utterly free of care, giving the song a weightlessness that’s easy to fall in love with.

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