DETROIT (February 15, 2023) – The new piano-driven album from indie-rock band the High Strung, Address Unknown begins with an invitation to travel via the title track and culminates in an emotional arrival with “The Bomb.” The singer/songwriting duo of Josh Malerman (New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box) and Mark Owen have delivered a covert concept album: a navigation of the big scary world, through mazes, telescopes, upon boats and skis, in which the duo get much closer to “home” by the end. Produced by Jason Berkowitz and Zach Shipps (Electric Six), it’s the band’s newest studio album, set to release May 5 on Paper Thin Records.
Address Unknown moves through a genre-bowing gala of musicality that often gives the impression of songwriter friends dueling in a living room deep into the night, each song a pocket-declaration of joie de vivre. From the diverse instrumentation to the blazing choruses, the album captures the essence of best friends as bandmates. Sometimes showy, never pompous, just like their previous song “The Luck You Got” (the theme song to the Showtime hit show “Shameless”). The High Strung have fun meaning what they do.
There’s a bit of a musical Pollock on Address Unknown, where each piece feels purposeful and perfectly accidental at the same time. Tracks pass batons to one another, just as Malerman and Owen do, trading off lead-singing vocals throughout. A double-single release of “Different Animal” (A-side) and “Telescope” (B-side) expresses this well. The two songs (written by Malerman/Owen) put forth honest, revealing views, while making sure to highlight the uncertainties therein. The upbeat A-side features lead vocals by Owen, harmonies by Allison Laakko, a wonderful sing-a-long hook, and a crazed piano outro that becomes the Malerman-led “Telescope.” Here, engulfed in piano and strings, the narrator feels alone on earth with his optimism, but discovers like-minded beings in the sky through his telescope.
For an album so ardent about the journey, the sense here is: The High Strung have arrived.
Address Unknown Track Listing
- Address Unknown
- Overcoat and Skis
- In The Lines
- Different Animal
- Northern Pygmy Owl
- So Lonely
- Yr Brother
- Lazy Days
- Basement Lear
- Run It Back
About The High Strung:
The High Strung formed nearly 20 years ago, but the friendship of four core members started in fifth grade. Metro Detroit natives Derek Berk, Josh Malerman, Mark Owen, and Chad Stocker formed in 2000, along with Jason Berkowitz of Cleveland. After settling back in the Motor City, Stephen Palmer joined the group, adding much flair to the catalog. While audiences will recognize their song “The Luck You Got” from the opening credits of Showtime’s “Shameless,” the group has also received accolades from Rolling Stone, Spin, and Pitchfork. They have also been reviewed on Fresh Air twice and featured in This American Life. Singer and guitarist Malerman is also the author of the New York Times best-selling novel turned Netflix film Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock.
June 14 – The Outer Limits, Detroit (w/Eyelids)