When a band puts an album together they could be forgiven for expecting to pick up a few bob for their efforts. Not so High Safari, a new London-based band who describe themselves as a “multi-racial party duo”.
Before such a description scares you off we strongly recommend checking out the band’s album, Skylight, which is available in full for free from the High Safari Bandcamp page.
James Parker and Nigel Gamage met at university and are now based in Tufnell Park. Their self-proclaimed influences are Elliott Smith and The Shins, though from High Safari’s superb track Hey Hombre, it’s pretty clear they’ve unearthed a sound all of their own.
One of the most infectious songs to hit the Londonist speakers in months, it would be fair to say.
So what made them decide to give their album away for free? We asked James of High Safari for a bit of insight into how an artist prices their product.
“Primarily, we wanted to share it with as many people as possible. If someone was kind enough to show interest in our music, then we wanted to be able to exchange that with our album rather than have them come across a £10 requirement to be able to discover more. They might come and see us at a live show – the free download also gives people the option and chance to listen before they regret spending their money on a gig ticket.
“And as cliched as it sounds, for this album the main thrill was to be able to spend a week together in a studio – that was our big dream. So any kind of attention at this stage (good or bad!) is reward enough.”
Certainly a laudable attitude, and we highly recommend downloading the album and taking a punt on their next gig, at the Fiddlers Elbow in Camden on 7 November. The band plan a few more gigs around town as the year winds down, before returning to the studio to record a new EP, which they also plan to release for free.
A Camden gig will help cement the band’s love of their part of town, which, says James, is “home to the best pubs, food, music venues and nights out. Good vibes without the pretentiousness. Endlessly exciting live music venues across Camden always packed with new and emerging music. For the hangovers: Dirty Burger in Gospel Oak, London’s best hidden away burger joint. And most of all: getting lost in Hampstead Heath on any sunny day.”
They love their city, and we’re pretty sure you’ll love them. And did we mention it’s free?