Medium High, the 28-minute 2009 mini-album from Chicago psych-pop troupe The 1900s, is a collection of outtakes, b-sides and radical re-imaginings. Darker, less poppy and looser than previous releases, the mix of songs was recorded at various times, places and with various people, and manages to form a surprisingly cohesive and unique addition to the 1900s catalog. The majority of these songs were written long before the debut EP, Plume Delivery, was ever released. "Collections," "Making Love In Summertime" and "Will In Firm Fashion" were the very first songs the band wrote and played together in a damp, rented basement in Chicago's West Side back in 2005.
With a couple rosters shake-ups since then and now, Medium High finds the band purging its sometimes dark past – making way for a new direction and new album, which they are currently in the process of recording. Accordingly, the songs deal with characters who find themselves in uncertain, in-between moments in their lives. "When I Say Cohen" (a Leonard-inspired live recording of the band's single "When I Say Go"), "Will" and "Face I Know" (a psyched-out version of Cold & Kind's dreamy "Supernatural"), all tell of epic physical journeys, while "Collections", "Age Of Metals" and "Making Love" explore deep-seeded emotional conflicts.
Medium High again finds The 1900s proving to never be in short supply of surprise.