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Blue Hawaii : Untogether

Recorded in spells of isolation, with apartment-sharing Braids vocalist Raphaelle Standell-Preston (“Ra”) and multi-instrumentalist Alex Cowan (“Ag”) working alternate dead-of-night shifts at the laptop (hence the title), Montreal duo Blue Hawaii‘s debut long-player Untogether is an unsurprisingly insular record. Listened to through headphones, much of the album feels like it would serve as a fitting soundtrack to one of those trippy educational films depicting the thousand times-magnified inner workings of the human body: its close-mic’d, looped vocals, sparse, echoing synths and dub-techno clicks and cuts would, I’m sure, sync up quite nicely with CGI footage of cells dividing and multiplying, synapses firing, nerve impulses transmitting and blood pumping its way through the veins and arteries. But it’s also quietly funky; an innerspace rave-up suited equally to floating in your own thoughts and dancing in front of your bedroom mirror, its juxtaposition of hushed ambience and wild expression, clockwork micro-rhythms and cavernous sub-bass, often recalls Vespertine-era Bjork – an artist who seems to have been a major influence on a few of the artists on the Arbutus label (Doldrums, Grimes) – and like the fornicating robots in the Icelandic star’s infamous “All Is Full Of Love” video, Untogether‘s marriage of human heart and electronic soul makes for a breathlessly intimate experience. Listen to “Try To Be” below.

Untogether is out March 4 via Arbutus Records (NA)/ Kompakt (EU) and is streaming now via Pitchfork Advance

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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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