Blue Hawaii | Under 1 House | Arbutus Records
Release Date: 25 September, 2020
What can we say about the year 2020? It’s difficult to truly express our individual and collective experiences during the painful, strenuous and quite frankly rather terrifying turn of events we’ve faced this year – an unprecedented maelstrom; finding ourselves adapting to a new way of life, whether it be in the business or creative sectors – it has been tough, to say the least.
In order to protect public health and safety, many of us have been separated from our loved ones due to travel restrictions. However, for the Montreal and Berlin based electronic duo Blue Hawaii – made up of songstress Raphaelle “Ra” Standell-Preston and Alex “Agor” Kerby: the artists, despite finding themselves trapped on separate sides of the Atlantic – separated from one another with Standell-Preston in Berlin and Kerby in Montreal – didn’t let distance stop them from crafting their newest sound.
Despite being written in a rural wooden cabin in Quebec in 2019, in order to release their new work the duo had to adapt to the circumstances: by working together long-distance. Their latest release, aptly and perhaps with the unintentionally ironic title ‘Under 1 House’ encompasses the spirit of togetherness, dedicated to the “unity achieved through confidence, in the seductive redemption of one’s own sexuality, finding power in feelin’ one’s self.”
The opener, aptly titled ‘Feelin’‘ is a mesmeric lounge sparkler; Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s soothing yet powerful vocal delivery never fails to impress. Gracefully floating atop bold basslines and punch-fueled percussion, chilled out atmospheres and a melodious outro make for a perfect introduction to this new brand new body of work. While tracks such as ‘Where are the Keys???‘ – a question we have all asked ourselves all too often is a serene, yet darker peak into what Blue Hawaii does best; creating emotive, atmospheric textures, lush vocal arrangements and outstanding production values.
The closer track ‘No Drama‘ is a 90’s inspired dance-tribute akin to familiar melodies we have all come to recognise throughout the years – though cleverly constructed and integrated into the duo’s own unique, signature flare. Arguably this would be the perfect way to close Under 1 House, as it encapsulates the entirety of the mixtape through Blue Hawaii’s extensive evolution and continued journey into the depths of the electronic realm.
Rating: 8 / 10
Feature Image: Blue Hawaii by Richmond Lam