HIGHLINE return with heartfelt new single ‘EXIT A’

by the partae

Photo by Sage RIley

With their first release for 2023, Eora/Sydney’s Highline channel grief, loss and regret on the beautifully bittersweet ‘Exit A’; a perfectly crafted indie ballad that showcases the 5-piece as a rising force in the scene. 

‘Exit A’ explores the loss of a friend and the inescapable sense of regret that follows. Although thematically the track is somber and reflective, sonically ‘Exit A’ feels overwhelmingly cathartic; with melancholic vocal melodies, atmospheric synth work and dreamy guitars that flood the mix at the apex of the song. ‘Exit A’ is a perfect example of how dynamics can shape a song, and although the chord progression is simple, the layered production and songwriting technique on ‘Exit A’ shows the young band are at the peak of their powers. 

“Exit A is a song about losing a friend. It’s reflecting on the loss and realizing that the writing was on the wall so to speak “I should have seen this coming from miles away”. It’s frustrating losing people that once meant so much to you and this song expresses that frustration. The song captures the sadness that comes with witnessing this happen and the reflective emotions that come with recognising things aren’t how they used to be, and wondering whether you could have stopped it from happening.

This song was one of those tunes where the general premise was always there but no progress was really made for about a year then it all sort of wrote itself within a couple of hours. The title came about because the chords were E and A, so we just called the song EA, which is how we arrived at Exit A.” 


Written during a trip to the Blue Mountains, the songwriting for ‘Exit A’ was a group effort for the band with everyone pitching in to get the song done. Once the songwriting had been completed, the band headed to Golden Retriever studios in Marrickville to work with Cal Howell, known best for his work with Ocean Alley

The song came about pretty organically. It started with Rhys bringing the chords in and we were pretty eager to smash out a big outro to it; Sam brought the words and the story inspired by a personal experience. We did a little songwriting trip to the Blue Mountains where we finished off most of the song. Then later we did another trip to Jamberoo and all chipped in to finish off lyrics and flesh out the outro. We have always done writing trips away and these are always some of our favourite moments together as a group. 

We recorded it with Cal Howell (Ocean Alley) as the producer, at Golden Retriever Studios in Marrickville. Before we went in, Cal helped break down the song before we went in and made sure that outro builded right until the end. Loved working with Cal – really passionate and fun too. I like how this one has a slow and sweet swell. The outro has mostly an instrumental vibe, as opposed to a melody-driven solo, which is new for us.” 


Highline have gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years, currently sitting at 1.6m+ streams on Spotify alone, 2k+ followers on Instagram and 15k+ on Tik Tok. They’ve received consistent airplay on triple j (‘Chasing Heaven’ (2021), ‘Staying Sane’ (2021) and ‘Enough for You and Me’ (2022)), editorial support from Pilerats, Life Without Andy, Tonedeaf, Music Feeds, The AU Review, LivewireAU and many more. They’ve also made big moves on the performance front, supporting the likes of Old Mervs, Rum Jungle, Dear Sunday, Pacific Avenue, and playing this years Icebreaker Festival at the Factory Theatre in Sydney alongside Tyne-James Organ, Annie Hamilton, Death by Denim, The Moving Stills and Asha Jefferies. Highline are just starting to hit their stride, and with ‘Exit A’ it seems the tail end of 2023 will be huge for the up-and-coming band. 


“Backed by addictively nostalgic guitars and some clattery drums, frontman Sam Rigney marries the unbridled fire of youth with the cool rush of maturation”


“It’s catchy, crafty indie-pop that brings together influences spread across indie, brit-pop and alt-rock”


“their music is an exciting mix of indie rock incorporating some brit-pop elements. It’s characterized by sweet guitars and emotive melodies lending itself to their own familiar yet exciting brand of rock.”


“one of my fave festival memories is belting out the kooks as a 19yo as the sun set at falls and this one has me thinking highline are set for a big stage sometime soon.”


“It sounds like the singer wants to let rip – you can tell he’s got a rasp not dissimilar to Jimmy from The Vanns or Caleb of Spacey Jane. The trick they pull though is to keep this one grounded and controlled.”


“Catchy melodies bring together the best of indie-rock and brit-pop into a very good time, ensuring the band should be on your radar this year”


Exit A is out September 13th 

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