“The Hi-Tops‘ sophomore EP, titled “Characters,” is a compelling collection of songs that reflect the band’s experiences living under the same roof during their first year together. In September 2022, the band members gathered in a house in northwest Calgary to embark on their creative journey. Each track on the EP revolves around a fictional character, delving into their personal realities amidst the challenges of the real world.
The EP kicks off with “Shiver,” a poignant exploration of the misunderstood artist archetype often exploited by major music media labels. Kole Halvorson skillfully weaves a narrative that exposes the corporate clichés surrounding mental illness, which are employed to fuel media campaigns.
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Following this introspective piece, “Change of the Season” delves into the somber aftermath of losing a significant other and the profound impact it can have on one’s entire being. In stark contrast, “Peaches and Cream” captures the raw joy and fulfillment that comes from having someone to love. This track brims with infectious neo-pop hooks while maintaining the band’s alternative rock essence.
“Criminal,” the fourth song on the EP, takes center stage with its themes of betrayal, longing, and the insatiable desire for a lost lover. It builds into a soaring stadium anthem that propels the listener on a thrilling sonic journey.
“Pretender” exposes the exponential growth of music scene gatekeepers who seek to monopolize the indie music landscape, all driven by their own egos. This track serves as a wake-up call, shedding light on the restrictive practices imposed by those in power.
Lastly, the EP concludes with “Old Enough,” a captivating and slowed-down intimate groove that raises questions about the current state of the dating scene. With its introspective lyrics and soulful melody, the song prompts contemplation on the evolving dynamics of romantic relationships.
As a whole, “Characters” stands as a powerful representation of the current climate of Indie Rock, offering a refined and polished glimpse into the world of The Hi-Tops.” – Explains front man Kole