London-based, Melbourne-raised HighSchool signs to [PIAS] & shares new single "August 19".
Introducing London-based, Melbourne-raised HighSchool, Australian post-punk’s brightest promise and best-kept secret.
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, having already accrued cult-classic status. Championed by the likes of international media outlets, they’ve come far in their first year. Where Forever At Last served as a brilliant introduction to an essential new band, new single and video "August 19" provides a seamless continuation of their debut EP’s arc. Alongside the release comes the announcement of HighSchool’s signing to [PIAS].
"August 19" explores themes of nostalgia, adolescence and young love. Written with the acuity of hindsight, they reflect on how schoolyard romances mean everything at the time, all-encompassing but all too often fleeting. And more so than any previous track, "August 19" leans in on the bedroom pop side of their sound, with Sunken’s Poppy Billingham’s backing vocals a perfect counterpoise to Rory while Luke’s low-slung bass and an infectious driving snare sound keep it only HighSchool.
On the new track, lead singer Rory Trobbiani says,
“August 19 was the last track we wrote for the EP and will be the first to be released. It came together so quickly and naturally, we felt it was best not to mess with it and over work it. The title was the date we wrote it. It was saved as a voice memo on my phone and the title never changed.”
After signing to [PIAS], they headed to the studio to record with rising London producer Finn Billingham (Sam Akpro, Sunken), finding him a kindred spirit in his creative approach. After a few sessions, the EP is now in the can, having been mixed by GRAMMY winning engineer Philippe Weiss (Madonna, Nas, Drake, Earl Sweatshirt) and mastered by Blur and Depeche Mode producer Ben Hillier.
Speaking about their next chapter, the band said
“Signing with [PIAS] marks a significant milestone in our journey and opens up new horizons that we couldn’t be more excited about.
We are thrilled and humbled to now be amongst such a talented roster of artists and to be a part of such a far reaching network, knowing we’ll have the home support of the lovely people
Directed by Trobbiani, edited and produced together by Trobbiani and Scott, with cinematography courtesy of Gabriel Monteregge, the enigmatic "August 19" music video is a perfect introduction to the evocative and moody palette of HighSchool’s world.
The band share that
“in a general sense, the clip explores overarching themes of warped perceptions of self and the disparity between expectations and reality, a concept that runs throughout the entire EP.
It follows our misfit protagonist (Peter Mervai) as he gets ready to go out before taking to the bustling neon-lit streets looking for some nighttime adventure”.
Relocating to London last year, they joined CHVRCHES then 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 ever-great Speedy Wunderground label. They finished an amazing year back in their home country touring nationwide with Sam Fender on his sold-out Australian tour before headlining their own sold-out Melbourne show at The Corner Hotel.
With Rory’s sister Lilli Trobbiani staying back to complete her studies, they returned to London to start work on their second EP, basing themselves out of a practice space in Peckham. Ahead of their first-ever headline tour and to start a summer tun of festivals, they released ‘Colt’, their most dancefloor-friendly track yet that 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.
Known for directing their own incredible videos, they continue 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. They follow a fish-out-of-water protagonist while he gets ready to go out on the bustling neon-lit streets, showing the disparity between expectation and reality - a concept that runs throughout their upcoming EP.