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Highway isn’t waiting for ‘Next Weekend’ to shine

Highway has been the underground’s best-kept secret for a while now. However, with the release of his new single “Next Weekend,” it seems like he might finally be ready to emerge from the shadows.

“Next Weekend” is a perfect introduction to why the Seattle rising star has become one of your favorite artist’s favorite artist — and a great way to celebrate his recent signing to innovative powerhouse label, Victor Victor. His distinct, highly-polished sound feels both completely fresh and intensely familiar at the same time — incorporating many of the most compelling sounds of the day with a thoughtful, unique approach that resonates from the first listen.

In contrast to the intense arrangement on his flagship track “Better Float,” the dynamic, dancey production on “Next Weekend” (self-produced along with Jonny Made It) makes it one the most party-ready tracks from Highway yet. In retrospect, its laidback vibe and bouncy beat feel almost bizarrely similar to the somewhat surprising approach of Drake’s new album of “dance music” Honestly Nevermind — perhaps a testament to just how on the money Highway’s very particular sound is.

The video, shot by his go-to director Evrywhreandnowhre, shows a glamorous party shot in an eerie black-and-white, broken up by occasional flashes of color and psychedelic edits — pretty successfully making the viewer feel like they might be tripping right alongside the partygoers swirling around an unbothered Highway.

As usual, the song strikes an incredibly compelling balance between a melodic, trap-infused sound and the abstract electronic production popular amongst the new wave digital-native artists — right down to combining the high-gloss of a rap video with the trippy VFX of the underground.

In the best way possible, Highway’s emotive baritone and distinct combination of sounds feel as if Future was born out of SoundCloud’s renaissance. A popular sentiment online since the release of Future’s latest album has been the desire for a full project of more chill, introspective tracks like “Puffin on Zootiez” and “Wait for You.” Yet, Highway is all that and more.

For those unfamiliar, his landmark tracks in “Better Float,” “Another Plane” with Jetsonmade and “Get It Quick” are known to create instant fans of Highway’s unwavering soundscape. While it’s unclear how he’s been able to fly under the radar for this long, one thing is for certain: Highway won’t be a hidden gem for too much longer.

Watch Highway’s “Next Weekend” below