"In Space" - scheduled for release 1 December 2022
Highway 62 is a contemporary synthesis of natural inspiration and cultural commentary, state-of-the-art technology applied to a lifetime of experiences. The sound of Highway 62 draws upon all eras of musical history to create an original and unique brand of 21st Century Pop (Not Pop), lovingly crafted for those who enjoy the primal excitement of raw musical energy, whilst relishing cerebral, thought-provoking, sometimes challenging subject matter
Highway 62's music has been created in open source: work-in-progress tracks uploaded and refined in public. This has kept the sound alive and dynamic, responding in real time to its reverberations in the outside world, adapting and evolving over months instead of being a more traditional snapshot of a few hours of studio time.
Highway 62's "studio" has more often than not been a Macbook resting on the passenger seat of the car. The beautiful Pennine passes have been the main backdrop for the refining and tweaking of the tracks. Laybys and viewpoints are pulled into, in order to make the necessary modifications, before hitting the road again and listening to the improvements. This has all been done en route between jobs and social visits, which means the creation of this album has been modular, slotting into real life adventures around the North of England between 2017 and 2022, rather than being the product of hermetically-sealed recording sessions.
All in all, there are simply no precedents which have been followed in the creation of these songs, although there are myriad musical influences. "Green Lady", for example, proudly wears these on its sleeve, indeed it challenges you to spot them. There can't be many songs that merge the following influences into five minutes of music: Johann Pachelbel, Vangelis, Giorgio Moroder, The Silicon Teens, The Swingin' Medallions, Sparks, Freddie Mercury, Strawberry Switchblade, The Specials, The Farm, The Dandy Warhols, The Weeknd.... to name a few! And yet despite all these sources of inspiration, "Green Lady" remains 100% homegrown and organic: a heartfelt paean to nature (particularly the English countryside), and an archetypal portrayal of the age-old theme of "Paradise Lost" that is infused with the tropes and talking points - personal, political, cultural and environmental - of a very specific place and time.
The aesthetic essence of the Highway 62 sound is stripped-down, streamlined electronic pop in a variety of styles. Any excess baggage is seen as superfluous and unnecessary, only obfuscating and impeding the elemental impact of the music. That said, each song has many layers. Every line can (and should) be interpreted in multiple ways. The album opener "Tldr" features sneaky references to the Spice Girls, Batman and Robin, Hegel and Socrates, plus the real-life advice of former Ford CEO Lee Iocacca, bearing both a deeply personal message and a more general musical mission statement; all set to a propulsive deep house groove that hopefully makes you want to sing and dance all night, then look up the references in Wikipedia the following day!
None of the above is intended to place Highway 62 on any kind of pedestal - it's simply to outline its raison d'etre and modus operandi. In a post-modern world, there's room for everyone! And so, even if not every song floats your boat, one hopes that there's at least one or tracks that get you tapping your toes, from the pure pop bounce of "Problematic" to the eerie, disembodied "The Justice Of Love"; from the electro-baggie singalong anthem "Sabina" to the deep house instrumental "Top Of The World".
And that's not to mention the two very different versions of an ultra-obscure non-hit from 40 years ago: one of which being an affectionate pastiche of "boomer music", the other deconstructing the same song and building it back better in a 2020s style! Listening to each on its own would be missing the point, however hearing both versions creates a double-headed, time-travelling thought-experiment about the changing nature of pop culture over the decades: what exactly is it from the past that we deem worthy and relevant to bring with us into the future?
With this in mind, possibly the best compliment that could be paid of "In Space" is that it exists outside of time and remains forever fresh and interesting musically and lyrically. Like the highest parts of the M62 motorway, it is hoped the music of Highway 62 is a little taste of something different, something that elevates and connects people, something that endures and transcends, within easy reach of millions yet still outside the norm.
Let's take a ride on Highway 62....
3 S - O - S (Rebirth Remix)
4 Green Lady
5 I Like U (PCP Radio Mix) [featuring Melodi]
7 Top Of The World (Highway 62 Theme)
9 The Justice Of Love
10 S - O - S (Original Version)
All tracks written and produced by Highway 62
Track 1 produced by Highway 62, PCP & JJ Lacey
Track 3 written by Highway 62, Brian Robertson & Billy Livsey
remixed by Highway 62
Track 5 produced by Highway 62, PCP & JJ Lacey
Track 6 produced by Highway 62 & JJ Lacey
remixed by PCP
Track 7 produced by Highway 62 & JJ Lacey
Track 10 written by Highway 62, Brian Robertson & Billy Livsey