Blue Hawaii – Untogether (2013)

Blue Hawaii - Untogether (2013) cover

In 2010, Raphaelle Standell-Preston and Alexander Cowan spent a couple of months wandering around Central America, and when they came back they made an EP that sounded like an uncommonly lyrical “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” essay: eight songs of humid, sun-kissed, heart-on-its-cut-off-sleeve electro-pop. Of course, Blue Hawaii was not the only band on the beach in 2010, but Blooming Summer managed to sound like something unique. Standell-Preston’s voice moved through these songs like a jellyfish, tumbling with such grace that its sudden sting came as a surprise. “I think about you thrusting into her,” she sang on the best song “Blue Gowns”, her voice full of anguished jealousy and self-reproach, “And I ask myself, how stupid can you get?” Blooming Summer captured the joys and fears of a new relationship (Standell-Preston and Cowan are a couple) with careful precision, but it also felt unassumingly excellent. Blooming Summer had a quiet release on then-very-niche label Arbutus; you can still download it on their Bandcamp for $1. Standell-Preston became better known for fronting the more guitar-driven band Braids, while Blue Hawaii seemed destined to be a side project little known to people outside the couple’s friends in the Montreal DIY scene. Then, of course, that scene blew up…pitchfork


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