Indie/alternative outfit The High Plains Drifters recently released a brand-new EP, Songs of Love and Loss, featuring “Since You’ve Been Gone.”
Talking about the EP, frontman Larry Studnicky shares, “This EP constitutes about half the songs that will be on the second album from The High Plains Drifters. I decided, a year ago this month, to get the guys together and start working on our next release. After these last 16 months of fear and suffering, I mostly hope that listeners will be smiling after hearing one or more of these tunes and that they’ll go listen to some of our earlier songs.”
He goes on to add, “I always hope that people will hear something in the lyrics that resonate with them. I’m a songwriter who usually approaches each tune as a mini-narrative. I’m seeking to tell some kind of (very short) story. If I’ve done my job well, and if our music is catchy enough to hold a listener through a song’s conclusion, then most people will (I hope) sit back after hearing a High Plains Drifters tale and say, ‘Yeah, I’ve been there. That was me once. Thanks for the memories.’”
Made up of Larry Studnicky (lead vocals, lyrics), John Macom (guitars, vocals), Charles Czarnecki (keyboards, accordion, vocals), Dave Richards (bass, vocals), Mike DoCampo (guitars, vocals) and Kyle Cassel (drums), The High Plains Drifters’ genesis occurred after a night of too much alcohol and not enough food at a Tex-Mex place in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
In 2019, the band dropped their self-titled, 13-track album, which collected vast praise from the media, beaucoup airplay, and oodles of listeners.
Comprising six tracks, entry points on the EP include “The One That Got Away,” rolling out on ‘80s new wave flavors blended with hints of alt-country. A syncopated rhythm topped by shimmering colors enhances Larry’s rich, plush vocals.
Larry Studnicky explains, “We’ve all had our ‘one that got away.’ It has been a while since I’ve bemoaned losing a girl and spent all my time wondering where she is, what is she doing, and with whom—but I remember that empty feeling like it was yesterday.”
“Since You’ve Been Gone” features low-slung quivering surfaces infused with savors of new wave hues as Larry’s velvety tones give the lyrics warm, dreamy timbres of nostalgia, wonder, and loss.
The remix of “Jennifer Aniston (Why Are You Single?) offers a new wave-laced homage to the television and movie star, whose love life is splashed in the tabloids. Lighthearted, the tune merges the driving cadence of dance music with tangs of new wave panache.
“Oh, why / Do you have trouble dating normal guys / Don’t lie / You fear that we’re inclined to part your thighs / Once upon a time I saw you / You were still with you know who / He was hardly looking at you / Why does he prefer tattoos.”
The last track, “He Reminds Me Of You,” opens on new wave and pop coloration and then ramps up into a Go-Go’s like electro-pop melody featuring a luscious female voice backed by glowing harmonies.
Innovative and tantalizingly good, the amalgamation of new wave flair with pop and alt-country/Americana nuances on Songs of Love and Loss yields delicious, alluring sonic concoctions.