BLUE HAWAII play the Great Hall’s Black Box Theatre on Friday (February 15). See listings. Rating: NNNN
While tastemaking music blogs and websites were tripping over themselves to interview Grimes last year, Montreal's Blue Hawaii were quietly building a name for themselves following the 2010 release of a tropical-tinged EP. The duo consists of Braids lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston and Agor, aka Alexander Cowan.
Written over the course of almost two years living apart from each other, the debut full-length examines the influence of technology and art on modern relationships. Despite being recorded in the dead of winter, the collection of chilly experimental pop songs also has moments of real warmth, like on Try To Be, where Standell-Preston's vocals float over an acoustic guitar loop like mist rising from melted snow.
Their name may reference a 52-year-old Elvis Presley musical, but Blue Hawaii are poised to have a lot of people talking about them right now.
Top track: Try To Be