Highbeams may only be a three-piece band, but the songs they create carry depth and complexity that can fill a room, as though each instrument is right there with you, weaving melodies and rhythms that exude large-group energy. The Atlanta folk-rocker’s latest, Keep Meaning It, was released on October 1st and brings the band’s usual strength for songwriting together with complex harmonies and clean production.
Highbeams are masters at creating hooks and drawing them out with layers of harmony and well-mixed instrumentation. On this album you will find trickling piano (“Either Way”), jovial fiddle moments (“I Know A Place”), and — of course — sweet acoustic guitar lines that mingle with upfront vocals. This is folk-rock, after all. The harmonies on the melancholy “Someday” will seep into you, and the climactic peak of voices on “Sunshine” feels empowering.
But what sticks to you most prominently on Keep Meaning It is the empathy evoked through lyrics. The album was meant to be an ode to not giving up, to pushing onwards, to fighting for what you want: but always meaning it. This comes out clearly on the very relatable “Talking To Myself”, which outlines the regret felt from not putting yourself out there: “The world can’t know me if I only hide / but I told myself the same thing last night.” “You Can Leave Me” opens the album on a similarly complicated note, though this time about making the move to let go: “You can leave me / I won’t be the one to hold you back,” is a repeated and heartfelt refrain. You can hear that track above.
Throughout Keep Meaning It, Highbeams wear their hearts on their sleeves, then ask you to sing along with the beating. To hear more from Highbeams, you can find them on their website, SoundCloud, and Facebook page. You can also follow the band on Twitter.