With a timeless Americana style that has drawn repeated comparisons to The Band, The High Divers sound like a seasoned outfit that has been around for years. That’s impressive given the fact that the Charleston, South Carolina-based quartet — Luke Mitchell, Kevin Early, Mary Alice and Julius DeAngelis — has only released one full-length album (2015’s Riverlust) and is set to release its follow-up recording this fall. On Sunday, June 4, The High Divers will return to Birmingham to perform at The Syndicate Lounge. Recently, Weld spoke to Mitchell by phone as the band was en route to perform its opening show of the tour in Chattanooga.
Weld: Riverlust showed a musical maturity that belied the fact it was your band’s debut album. If you will, talk about the creation of the album.
Luke Mitchell: That stuff came together pretty quickly. I had a few songs here and there that were written before we got the band together and we all moved to Charleston on the same day. We made most of the songs happen in the studio — we came in with skeletons and finished them up. Yeah, Riverlust came together pretty quickly considering we were a really new band.
Weld: You’re already working on the next album, correct?
Mitchell: Yeah, we’re shooting for early September [release date] and we’re going to be doing a corresponding tour for that album.
Weld: Are you already playing songs from the upcoming album on this tour or do you wait to unveil those following the album’s release?
Mitchell: We’ve been playing a couple of the songs as much as possible to see how they go over. We’re taking about a month off before the next album comes out to get all the new songs under our belt. But we like trying them out live first for sure.
Weld: How would you describe the band’s writing process?
Mitchell: I’d say that I’m probably the primary songwriter in the band. I usually bring in some skeletons and then everybody kind of gives it skin and a beating heart and all that stuff. The arrangements get fleshed out while we’re in the studio and that’s usually how we work. We try different versions and arrangements and keep it pretty simple.
Weld: How would you describe the scene in your adopted hometown of Charleston?
Mitchell: Charleston has been incredible — it’s a uniquely supportive community. I’ve lived in Austin and I went to music school and I really haven’t seen a place where people are so supportive of other bands.
Weld: How do you feel about home recording given the technology available to artists these days? Is there still a place for traditional recording studios in the future?
Mitchell: With the advancement of recording technology you can release something quickly. But one thing that was uncovered when someone recorded a record in their home was that a lot of them ended up sounding pretty s—y. I think that’s called back into question: Are producers still needed? Do you still need to engineer your records correctly? I think the answer is yes, and I think we’re moving away from the garage-sounding recordings and people are calling back on studios again and professionals that really know what they’re doing.
The High Divers will perform with Great Peacock and Kyle Kimbrell at The Syndicate Lounge on Sunday, June 4. Doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, visit syndicatelounge.com.