Having developed a fuller band sound with HighMay on 2010's Belong, Detroit singer-songwriter James Atto returns for HighMay's sophomore outing, The Upside. Atto and company definitely enjoy a good string arrangement, and they mix strings in alongside more traditional instrumentation on a set of slickly-produced pop cuts. With emotional balladry along the lines of Matchbox 20 and vocals reminiscent of John Mayer, HighMay would fit right in on the national airwaves. The high-polish hooks and sounds found here aim for a commercially clean alt-rock style, and they definitely hit their mark.
Worth a Listen: "Stay 4 Hours"