• TSR077: Best Bless

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“A summer-suited sprawl, with tuck-and-roll guitar lines like kids on a grassy slope, tip-tapping percussion breezy as a white linen shirt, and backing singers so sanguine in their hums and coos and “woos,” they can only be supine in swaying hammocks” – Pitchfork

“These songs sound like they belong to the earth itself and have been playing themselves forever in some enchanted wonderland woodland clearing - there’s a brilliant cyclical feeling to them that seems endless and natural.” - Transparent

Highlife is New York based songwriter Sleepy Doug Shaw. Shaw moved from his hometown of London, England at the age of 19, arriving onto the NYC music scene in 2003. At that time accompanied by only by an acoustic guitar, he was soon showcasing his preternatural singing abilities and strong focused fingerpicking blues skills around the city playing under the moniker Sleepy Doug Shaw; and before long he had joined the entrancing psychedelic soul band White Magic.

Highlife was born in 2008 when Shaw, along with White Magic collaborator Mira Billotte, retreated from New York to the small island of Gaspar Grande off the coast of Trinidad, at the southernmost point of the Carribean trail. The pair spent long, wandering nights chanting and inducing trance, recording on a portable setup that Shaw had lugged along. Shaw chose the name Highlife to imbue a feeling of rejoicing and high consciousness, while also giving a nod to the genre of african music ‘Highlife’, which has greatly influenced his guitar style. With the sun indelible in mind, Shaw and Billotte crossed the Atlantic, returning to his hometown of London, where recording on Highlife's debut mini-LP Best Bless was finished at Southern Studios. Shaw and Billotte were joined on these sessions by Tim Koh (Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffitti) and Jesse Lee (Gang Gang Dance).

As of late Sleepy Doug Shaw has relocated back to NYC where he has been gracing stages of all sizes, quickly become a local favorite, and has still found time to moonlight as Gang Gang Dance’s Bass Player...