Blue Hawaii / Untogether / Review

by marcopantella

Read it on Chasseur Magazine Issue 4



From the title to the cover and the opening track ‘Follow’, it’s quite evident that ‘Untogether’ by Canadian Group Blue Hawaii, is a work with a strong duality in it. Braids’ Raph Standell-Preston and Alexander Cowan have been recording the follow up to “Blooming Summer” apart, and the result is a kind of musical paradox made of soft, almost spoken words repeated on electro-pop and dance beats.

This dimension is a silent and intimate one, where a relationship’s break up is lived and expressed from the duo in two different ways but, coming together as lovers, the songs are not only about separation. There is the sensuality of love making in “Sweet Tooth” and the minimal sonority of “Yours To Keep” floats around the alluring lyric “and I can feel it all around, in my head”.

There is a staggering plain sensibility in “Try To Be”, where electro fuses with the acoustic guitar reminding of French producer Mirwais. Every minute of the album is a sudden surprise, you start off on a dance rhytm and before you know it, Raph’s voice shifts into repeat mode bringing a disturbing atmosphere to the songs. The evidence of this is in “In Two” and “In Two II” where the ethereal meets reality, creating a mind-loop in your head that goes beyond the electronic alterations featured in the album.

A little tropical warmth that characterized their previous work is still present and when the couple reunites, singing in “Sierra Lift”, another turn of direction leads us to a more introspective, layered, and almost paranoid world, and even though the pace of the album is broken for a moment, “Untogether” has the quality to continuously lift you up and bring you down in a non-linear mindgame that promises to make you feel that special something in the air.