Philadelphia-based dream pop band, Highnoon, is the first musical iteration from the mind of singer-songwriter and producer, Kennedy Mann. An early student of music performance, Kennedy grew up taking piano lessons from a neighbor, but didn’t pick up an acoustic guitar until her second year at university. After being swept up in the lively energy of the college basement show scene, Kennedy discovered her affinity for writing songs on guitar, and also befriended fellow musician and current Highnoon drummer, Justin Roth. She immediately began writing what would become Highnoon’s first record, Semi Sweet, which the two made together and released digitally in 2019 (later to be released physically by indie label Oof Records in 2020).
This promising lo-fi debut garnered warm reception, establishing the band as the new darlings of the Philly DIY scene. In subsequent years, Highnoon solidified themselves as an act to watch, with the release of potent indie-pop singles “Back to You” and “Are You With Me.” The success of these singles led Highnoon to earn opening slots for local music festivals and bands like Long Beard, Kississippi, and Frankie Cosmos.
Maybe Tomorrow will be the band’s first LP in five years, a project that Kennedy began writing in the months leading up to Semi Sweet’s release. “I wrote an album and then I realized I had no idea how to produce it. I spent the last few years learning how,” says Kennedy. With the help of a pivotal pandemic-related artist grant, she enrolled in vocal lessons, purchased a Macbook, and learned to produce in Logic, while also honing the songs in at gigs with the band (now including friends Brendan Simpson and Rachel Wild).
The album marks a huge leap forward for Highnoon, with some songs performed completely by the band, and others made by Kennedy with producers Hollow Comet and Danny Murillo (Murillo having engineered, mixed, and co-produced 2023’s “Are You With Me” and all nine tracks on the record). Drawing inspiration from the likes of George Clanton, Cocteau Twins, and AG Cook, Kennedy guides their classic dream pop sound through bursts of shoegaze, hyperpop, trip hop, and alternative rock.
Lyrically, Maybe Tomorrow tells a story of frustration and catharsis, grief and self discovery – making light of one’s troubles, making peace with the past, and making room for an uncertain future. The album’s narrative documents a period of personal growth Kennedy experienced in the process of creating it. “So much time has passed since I started writing this,” she remarks. “I almost don’t recognize some of the more adolescent feelings I had and yet so many sentiments do still ring true for me. I think they always will.”