the High Dials
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the High Dials

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | INDIE

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2003
Band Pop Alternative




"In the A.M. Wilds"

A compelling listen… explodes like a kaleidescope. Disc of the Week. - Quick Before It Melts

"In the A.M. Wilds"

When The High Dials groove, they groove hard… listeners are lulled into a world of just-about-danceable delight… the album moves like a dream as it weaves together psychedelic power-pop, haunting melancholia, and gritty darkness.” - Gray Owl Point

"Yestergraves EP"

The High Dials sound like a brand new band... (The band has) unveiled three new songs and their sonic evolution is immediately evident. The grooves, the vocal treatment, the post-punk bass and the shoegaze guitars are arranged in a way that pushes forward while retaining a link to band’s rich past. - Cult Montreal (Canada)

"Yestergraves EP"

Since their 60s inspired debut in 2003, The High Dials have undergone a transformation... "Yestergraves" is psych introspection – pensive and distant with an out-of-focus air. "Echoes and Empty Rooms" combines shimmery, dream-like melodies with the vibe of a classic 80s throwback. "Evil Twin" shows a darker side to the EP, with offset electro hiccups, sinister vocal echoes and a synth that sounds like Kraftwerk gone rogue. Hopefully an indication of what’s to come in 2014. - The Upcoming (UK)

"Anthems for Doomed Youth"

Reveals (a band) still finding ways to nudge their lysergic impulses into the ’70s and ’80s… The album’s aural contemporaries are seemingly the likes of R.E.M. , Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths, and the trippier end of the Paisley Underground crowd… The cool but inviting tone confirms the High Dials are finding new directions in which to point their guitars that give the music a shelf life well past the Summer of Love. 4 stars - All Music Guide (USA)

"Anthems for Doomed Youth"

The High Dials have perfected their blend of ’60s pop hooks and swirling guitars, putting the fruits of their seven-year career on display… The quintet walk the fine line between playing up their pop strengths and embracing swirling sonics. The former always wins out, with vocal harmonies and chiming guitars bringing to mind Bandwagonesque-era Teenage Fanclub. This balancing act is maintained throughout, but nowhere does it work better than on opener Teenage Love Made Me Insane, which might be the song title of the year. What You Call Love is a Lie similarly shines, with its driving rhythm carrying the tale of one-night stands. Though all these elements may be classic tropes, the High Dials keep them fresh. - Exclaim! (Canada)

"Moon Country"

Country-tinged ’60s-ish psych-rock, with great harmonies and occasional doses of druggy drone…They are fantastic live. Top 10 albums of 2008 - Brooklyn Vegan

"War of the Wakening Phantoms"

Hailing from the Montreal scene that spawned The Dears and Arcade Fire, (The High Dials) have more in common with the new wave of thoughtful guitar bands that includes The Shins and Essex Green, with their precise guitar interplay underscoring songs about being adrift in the world, or being hopelessly in love. Tracks such as “Soul In Lust” and “Sick With The Old Fire” breathe new life into pop’s tired romantic lexicon. In the eight-minute epic “Your Eyes Are a Door,” singer-songwriter Trevor Anderson is so flooded with desire he sees planetary bodies inside a lover’s eyes – while his band’s arrangements have echoes of soft rock legends Big Star, Love and The Moody Blues. 4 stars. - Independent on Sunday (UK)

"War of the Wakening Phantoms"

On their second album, "War of the Wakening Phantoms," Montreal's High Dials cast off the '60s straightjacket that gave their first album the feel of a museum piece or a school assignment...and open up their sound to include more modern reference points like the Stone Roses, the '90s shoegaze sound, and, somewhat inevitably, new wave. It is always fun when bands reinvent themselves, mostly because they usually botch the job and become laughingstocks, but the High Dials do the nearly impossible and make the makeover work for them in the most delightful way. War of the Wakening Phantoms is the sound of a band discovering its soul and creating something beautiful and big — really big… This album will blow you away. 4 ½ stars - All Music Guide (USA)

"Psych-pop perfection"

Like Montreal mates and fellow anglophiles The Dears, The High Dials hail from Canada via Camden in 1995 (like Murray Lightburn, frontman Trevor Anderson sounds like Damon Albarn) but with a detour via Carnaby Street in 1967. Consequently, with this second album, they have made a latter-day psychedelic classic, which sounds like “Going Blank Again”-era Ride jamming with the Zombies- the ace 60s group currently soundtracking the Magners Cider advert. But, although it’s ice-in-the-glass time for summery stompers such as “The Holy Ground,” there is a real melancholy here; the ghostly presence makes itself felt on dark, introspective tracks such as “Lucifer’s Dream” and the incredible “The Lost Explorer.” 8 out of 10. - NME (UK)

"RECOMMENDED: What’s blasting from the SPIN offices?"

These 60s revivalists write songs with titles like “Your Eyes Are A Door” and blur their psychedelia with pre-Britpop shoegazing. At times their sunburst melodies sound arena-big, at times they sound like elegies written in country churchyards, next to the Hacienda club, over past the orphanage where all the kids eat big bowls of cholera for breakfast. RECOMMENDED. - SPIN (USA)

"Globe and Mail (Canada)"

There are those stoned, golden afternoons, endless, with hours strung together by big moments and plateaus – if only those days could be bottled and sold. And then, with “War of the Wakening Phantoms,” The High Dials do just that. The sophomore album from the Montreal lucid dreamers is an immaculate, narcotic pop record, ebbing and flowing with cloud-break vocals and jangled psychedelia, optimism and doom. You’re not sure; you need a taste? Try track no. 3, “Our Time Is Coming Soon,” addictive because of its crashing guitars, R.E.M. quotes, sitar bits, and prophetic imagery (“Get up, get up and see/Our glorious destiny.") We’re up, and we see. The time of The High Dials has come, and none too soon. - Globe and Mail (Canada)

"NOW (Toronto, Canada)"

If you're not already in love, this album approximates its euphoric stupor, like when Natalie Portman played New Slang for Zach Braff in Garden State. Hell, Montreal's High Dials may change your life. Listening to "Holy Ground" is like swimming through warm, deliberately fuzzy psychedelia. Groovy 60s-themed tunes are the staple, and an infectious sweetness winds through the blend of garage rock riffs, sublime bass licks and militaristic drumming, as in "Our Time Is Coming Soon." Tether that to airy vocals and you're whisked away to an idyllic fantasy land. All that without the psychological repercussions of hallucinogenic drugs. Far out, man. 4 stars. - NOW (Toronto, Canada)


All hail the modern psychedelic concept album! The High Dials emerged from the glittering chrysalis in 2003 with "A New Devotion," a sprawling, atmospheric album of freewheeling cosmic grooves linked by a linear narrative. On their brilliant follow-up, "War Of The Wakening Phantoms," the Dials keep to their dramatic leanings, weaving a tapestry of celestial pop numbers that keep to the tradition of lyrical storytelling and musical adventure. Formed in Montreal, that northern hotbed of keenly intelligent, unwittingly hip rock 'n' roll, the Dials sound instead as if they were birthed on foggy Scottish moors or some stormy Irish coastline. This is Druid music—sun on blades of grass and white lace against a girl's bare leg, pretty, pagan melodies perfect for May Day celebrations and orgiastic fertility rites. The band has an obvious affinity with its British Isles brothers, particularly the musings of Belle And Sebastian, Super Furry Animals, and Spiritualized, but the grand heft of the North American continent keeps this sound a bit more grounded. The inspiration here is green earth, not the outer edges of space, and the journey leads to inward introspection. The High Dials know when to cull their inspirations (Leonard Cohen lament, Donovan swing) and when to spin their own yarns. Deftly mixed by Dave Bianco (Teenage Fanclub) in the City of Angels, Wakening Phantoms is one of the most pleasant albums in recent memory—melancholy in only the sweetest of ways, full of loping, giddy choruses and a pastoral, utopian feel. Put in on and you'll go dreaming. - Rhino Records


In the A.M. Wilds (2015)

Desert Tribe EP (2015)

Yestergraves EP (2014)

Anthems for Doomed Youth (2010)

Moon Country - CD (2008)

The Holy Ground - EP (2007)

War of the Wakening Phantoms (2005)

Fields in Glass - EP (2004)

A New Devotion - CD (2003)



The High Dials make psychedelic pop shaded with folk rock and shoegaze influences. Hailed by major publications like NME, Spin and the Washington Post as well as taste-making blogs like Brooklyn Vegan, the band have a deep back catalogue and extensive tour history in both North America and the UK.

Highlights from band’s live history include US and UK tours with the Brian Jonestown Massacre, support slots with Echo and the Bunnymen, the Osheaga festival in Montreal and appearances at various international events such as the Great Escape, In the City, CMJ and SXSW. In 2014, they toured the UK with The Besnard Lakes and headlined their first shows in Ireland. In 2015 they performed at clubs and festivals in Mexico and Colombia as part of their first Latin American tour.

The band recently collaborated with legendary Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham on an album of Stones covers - fellow contributors included Johnny Marr, Gryff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) and Elliott Easton (The Cars).

Several of the band’s songs currently feature in the hit Netflix series House of Cards.

In February 2015 the band released “In the A.M. Wilds” (Fontana North/Universal), an album that surprised longtime fans with its post-punk pulse and dark electro shimmer. The album enjoyed a long chart run on Canadian campus radio, peaking at #8. The High Dials are currently preparing a new album for release in 2018.

Band Members