Highwind Feel Like They’re Weighing You Down

The Prairie rockers' emotionally charged new EP is truly a matter of life and death.

Highwind brave an emotional storm in their raging new rocker Weighing You Down — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Weighing You Down is the lead single and opening track on the Moose Jaw quartet’s new six-song EP Final Words, a concept work that addresses death from the perspective of those left behind.

Read the song titles in order — Weighing You Down, At What Cost, I’m Making Amends, I Feel Helpless, In Hospice, These Are My Final Words — and they form a devastating tale of facing and surviving the loss of a partner. Fittingly, the music is every bit as heavy as the subject matter — but far more aggressive, with crunching guitars, driving beats and vocals from Charlie Rysavy that adeptly express the pain, anguish and angst of the subject matter. Weighing You Down sets the tone for the next four songs, while the final track slows things down to reflect on things never said.

The hard-driving tune starts out with soft strumming by singer/guitarist Rysavy, quickly joined by an accelerating roll from drummer by Troy Waggoner, underpinned by bassist Eric Taylor. The tension picks up as new lead guitarist Ehren Pfeifer unleashes a circular riff that sets the tone for a frenzied aural emo-punk assault. It’s a dark, meaningful song, painting a bleak image of a loved one at the bedside of a partner in failing health:

“You hold my hand so tight as if this could be the last time
Overheard you pacing around last night
Could you just go home? And come back
Cause it feels like I’m weighing you down?
Cause it feels like you’re waiting me out.”

Final Words is the first release from the Prairie band since 2016’s masterful album Cellar Door. That record was recorded by the original trio live off the floor at Regina’s Blue Door Studios and went on to be chosen as one of Sask Music’s best albums of 2016. A four-year hiatus followed, but the band finally regrouped in 2020 to write songs with new recruit and sound designer Pfeifer.

Amazingly, all of Pfeifer’s stinging lead guitar parts were recorded in his bedroom in Toronto, on top of tracks sent by the other members. Pfeifer had never played with the band, and they didn’t know what they were getting until he was finished. Despite that, he fits like a proverbial glove.

The video for the single was completed in a similar fashion: Each of the members of Highwind filmed their parts individually and it was all cut together afterwards. Two more videos from the EP are expected soon.

Check out Weighing You Down above, listen to the Final Words EP below, and follow Highwind on Facebook.