Alt-rock band, HIGHWAYVES, are a self-proclaimed “artistic collective” who have an “obsessive approach to their art.” On their debut single, “Frame It,” the Isle of Man-based group channels their concerted energies into a melodic style of alt-rock that meticulously plays with your sense of security. On this track, the foundational cracks of a once, promising relationship reveal a crumbling facade. Along the way, HIGHWAYVES replicates the dawning of realization in the form of a dreamy melody turned nightmarish.
At the onset, “Frame It” distinctly composes itself as alt-rock channeled through a soothing filter of shimmering guitar chords. In concert, a swift drum beat picks up steam to reveal an increasingly harder, melodic edge. With the collective tension amplified, it provides a seamless move into a darker, moodier motif. Altogether, it evicts the dream in favor of residing in the nightmare.
In addition, “Frame It” does have a slight, shoegaze slant to its vocals. However, in the purest sense of the genre, they are not overtly downtrodden or intentionally unintelligible either. Amidst being filtered between the melodies, there is still a viable connection to be made. In fact, it is kind of a vocal cross between shoegaze and emo for how expressive they sound. On top of it all, a bemoaning turned hollering vocal interlude delivers an explosive charge into this decidedly disquiet anthem.
After the “sparkle” vanishes from each other’s eyes, “Frame It” holds itself to the standard of the original star crossed lovers, but both of them “wind up dead” this time around. Dreams are dashed, leaving behind fragments of who they once were to each other. Instead of condemning it all to the dustbin of forgotten memories, the narrator’s last request is a “piece” be spared so their former partner can “frame it” in posterity of who they were. In spite of all of the inherent turmoil inside this track, all they want is to be remembered fondly.
“Frame It” is a striking debut by a band of artists who immerse themselves into creating an all-around, captivating work. From the fluidity of its melodic progression to its lyrical composition, HIGHWAYVES take a multifaceted approach to making their own mark. As a group, HIGHWAYVES is committed to every part of the song pulling together on the same rope.
Written by Travis Boyer