HighSchool release ‘Accelerator’ EP + share video for ‘Heaven’s Gate’

HighSchool press photo
Photo credit: David Barron

Buzz-worthy post-punk outfit HighSchool continue their ascendant 2024 with the release of their highly-awaited second studio EP, ‘Accelerator,’ out now via [PIAS]. Alongside the release, they also share the video for longtime live highlight and crowd favourite Heaven’s Gate in all its recorded glory. ‘Accelerator’ will be released on transparent clear vinyl, out July 12 and available to pre-order globally now (link).

Collating singles August 19, Doesn’t Matter and She Took You to Narnia, HighSchool’s second EP not only builds seamlessly on the sounds of their 2021 cult-classic debut ‘Forever At Last’ but looks set to assert their arrival from one of indie’s best-kept secrets to far bigger things. Having spent the intervening years polishing their craft across Melbourne and their adopted home of London, ‘Accelerator’ was produced by rising producer Finn Billingham, mixed by GRAMMY-winning engineer Philippe Weiss (Earl Sweatshirt, Nas, Drake) and mastered by Blur and Depeche Mode producer Ben Hillier. The resulting five-track collection is suffused with emotionally charged and elliptical songwriting, conjuring the tangible aura of the band’s post-punk forebears as filtered through a lens of contemporary lo-fi bedroom pop. 

A woozy, romantic dream-pop waltz that explores themes of escapism and connection in the metropolis, inside of its four-minute runtime, latest single Heaven’s Gate encapsulates all of what HighSchool do so well throughout their second studio EP. Continuing to hone their ever-tasteful sound, low-slung instrumentation play off propulsive rhythm sections, while sumptuous soundscapes are balanced with a hook-replete pop nous and rich vein of melodicism, all permeated by evocative layers of spectral and saturnine atmosphere. Beneath its foggy exterior, HighSchool’s music pulls effortlessly from the gamut of indie rock history – from shoegaze and new wave to slowcore, jangle pop, slacker rock, art pop and beyond – into something wholly their own. 

“We shot the video for ‘Heaven’s Gate’ at Rory’s partner’s parent’s house in Melbourne when they were out of town,” the band share. “We invited our friends around for a formal dinner party and enlisted Joel Wilson and Aaron Potter, who did the ‘Sirens’ video for us, to direct and shoot the clip respectively. One of our most narrative-based film clips to date, it follows Luke who, fed up with Rory’s bullheadedness, comes to the decision to murder Rory by poisoning his drink.”

The release of Accelerator caps what has been a prolific period for the band, having returned to Australia earlier this year for a pair of headline homecoming shows, followed by a sold-out, three-date Japanese run, a slew of official SXSW Austin 2024 appearances, headline shows in Los Angeles and New York City respectively, and national USA tours supporting both Provoker and zzzahara. Now approaching full circle, the band were recently announced to be performing at The Great Escape in Brighton later this month, also celebrating the release of their second EP with a continent-spanning tour of Europe and the UK; full dates and details can be found below.

Watch the music video for Heaven’s Gate via YouTube below.

Made up of Rory Trobbiani and Luke Scott, HighSchool create intoxicating music, whose debut 2021 EP Forever At Last is a lo-fi gem of the genre. Championed by the likes of NME, The FADER, CLASH, DIY, PAPER, Rolling Stone AU, The Line of Best Fit and So Young.

From Melbourne and relocating to London in 2022, HighSchool joined the likes of Wet Leg, CHVRCHES and NewDad on tour before playing a summer of UK festivals including All Points East, End of the Road, The Great Escape, Manchester Pysch Festival, Sea Change, Standon Calling and Visions. The autumn brought their first headline shows, both in the UK and across Europe, promoting not only their EP but also their anthemic track Only a Dream, released as a limited 7” on Dan Carey’s Speedy Wunderground label. They ended the year touring back in Australia with Sam Fender, before playing their first headline hometown show at The Corner Hotel.

With Rory’s sister Lilli Trobbiani staying back to complete her studies, they returned to London to work on their second EP, basing themselves out of a practice space in Peckham. Bridging the gap to their second EP was Colt, their most dancefloor-friendly track yet which had brilliant splashes of electro and Italo-disco added to their new wave mix. It also had a great accompanying video, shot in Rome with a vainglorious Rory mingling among the sights and bemused tourists.

They announced their signing to [PIAS] Australia with the release of single ‘August 19’ late last year and continued the escapism theme of previous single Colt with a clip shot in Benidorm, the popular Spanish tourist destination known for its sandy beaches and trashy nightlife. Following a fish-out-of-water protagonist on the bustling neon-lit streets, it showed the disparity between expectation and reality – a concept that runs throughout their second EP, ‘Accelerator’.

HighSchool Accelerator EP cover artwork

‘Accelerator’ EP track list

1. August 19

2. Doesn’t Matter

3. She Took You to Narnia

4. Heaven’s Gate

5. Mondo Cane (Redux)

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