The High Plains Drifters’ “He Reminds Me of You”
Millennials and Gen Z are all about celebrating the bravado of pop music this season, both old and new alike, and something in my gut tells me that once The High Plains Drifters’ “He Reminds Me of You” makes its way into the mainstream spectrum, young audiences are going to find it as thirst-quenching as they come. “He Reminds Me of You” has all the trappings of a sweet winter anthem sans the inauthentic drone of lyrical predictability most contemporary pop winds up saddled with at some point or another, and while The High Plains Drifters are a new face in the spotlight to many, they’re acting like a well-trained veteran group in every second of this track.
The balance between the chaos of the instruments and the pleasantries of the lead vocals is epic from a critical standpoint, and better yet, it doesn’t create unnecessary duality in “He Reminds Me of You” at all – the opposite, quite frankly. By splitting the narrative between two expressive channels in this single, The High Plains Drifters make it impossible to frame their style as one-dimensional; if anything, they’re teaching a lot of less-than-exciting minimalists in indie pop today how to make a powerful vocal rock an otherwise clean-cut composition properly here.
These melodies produce a blistering melodic bedrock for the lyrics in this track, but not so much that they become the central focus of our attention. I’m not saying there would be anything wrong with making use of the understated synthpop influences in The High Plains Drifters’ sound at some point or another, but this is a situation where they likely would have made their verses seem campy or not entirely emotional, which is something I think wouldn’t have fit in with the sharper challenge at hand here. This isn’t an act that needs to figure out who they are; they know, and you don’t need to be a professional to recognize that in “He Reminds Me of You.”
The mixing is admittedly a bit on the straight and narrow side for my taste, and really for what The High Plains Drifters probably could have handled even at this early stage of their time in the limelight, but the performance they give inevitably makes the song feel larger of life more than it would have with anyone else’s name in the byline. They have a charisma I would love to see blossom on the stage, and with any luck, I’ll have that chance before the year is out.
The High Plains Drifters have a lot going for them in “He Reminds Me of You,” but above all else, I think their originality is probably the most endearing reason to give their music a shot this February. There’s no placing this sound into a box; it’s too angular and untethered to social media trends for me to give it the same brandings a lot of other material would deserve at this point in the review, and if you’re as serious about legit pop music as I am, it’s almost guaranteed to stoke a big reaction from you right off the bat.