Blue Hawaii - Untogether (4 stars)

Blue Hawaii - Untogether

Beguiling début of somnambulant synths and layered vocals

(Arbutus Records)

Blue Hawaii’s ethereal through-the-looking-glass world evokes a similar sense of place to the early work of Arbutus labelmate and fellow Montreal resident Grimes, but with a more subtle reliance on poppier tropes. If this beguiling début lacks a certain immediacy then, it makes up for it with its elegiac charm - the somnambulant synths and layered vocals channel the Cocteau Twins while the hollowed-out beats have a lonely, portentous elegance - giving the record a womb-like feeling of warm, inviting solitude. The album’s narrative is fluid, loosely tethered by the pulsating early centrepiece and first single ‘In Two’ and its other half ‘In Two (Pt II)’ both of which possess this trembling and beautifully understated trill of dancefloor euphoria while still retaining a haunting sense of intimacy, reflecting that curious joy of dancing when no one is around.

Blue Hawaii - In Two / In Two II

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