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Electronic/Dance - Released October 11, 2019 | Arbutus Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released August 22, 2019 | Arbutus Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 5, 2013 | Arbutus Records

While there was no lack of ethereal electronic projects hailing from Canada in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Blue Hawaii still made their own niche within this musical territory. As the title of their first full-length album suggests, Alexander Cowan and Raphaelle Standell-Preston made Untogether largely apart from each other. This separation makes itself felt in these songs' somber sleekness, which is a far cry from the tropical warmth of their debut EP, Blooming Summer. Yet the real and implied distance on Untogether allowed the members of Blue Hawaii to step up their respective games: Cowan's soundscapes are crisply elegant, and Standell-Preston delivers restrained performances that are worlds away from her rapturous work with Braids. The former single "In Two" and its counterpart "In Two II" represent Untogether at its finest: atmospheric yet tight, with subtle moods driven by graceful rhythms. Blue Hawaii spend most of the album crafting reflective songs that range from confessional ("Try to Be") to alluring ("Yours to Keep"), but every now and then the duo throws listeners a curve, as on the glamorous, beat-driven "Flammarion," which gets closer to the dancefloor than any other song here. Untogether's aloof beauty comes as something of a surprise given how free-flowing and whimsical Blooming Summer was, but while this change takes some getting used to, it's an impressive debut from a group that has taken the time -- and space -- to refine and develop its sound. ~ Heather Phares
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Electronic/Dance - Released October 6, 2017 | Arbutus Records

Relationship status has always been a significant part of Blue Hawaii's music. On Untogether, Raphaelle Standell-Preston and Alexander Cowan turned their romantic breakup into affecting, forward-thinking electro-pop. On Tenderness, they use the end of Standell-Preston's online relationship as the inspiration for songs about the ease -- and difficulties -- of feeling close to someone far away. Even though the album's concept emphasizes emotional and mental connections, its music feels more physical. Tenderness sounds bigger, bolder, and more sensual than Blue Hawaii's previous work, thanks to the duo's embrace of house, disco, and '90s dance music. Nowhere is this clearer or more irresistible than on "No One Like You," where giddy, disco-tinged strings and beats capture the thrill of being head-over-heels. Elsewhere, Cowan and Standell-Preston channel Everything But the Girl on "Versus Game"'s smooth yearning and borrow trip-hop's mournful lushness on "Younger Heart" and "Make Love Stay" to convey Tenderness' emotional arc. To chart these wide-ranging moods, Blue Hawaii use every tool at their disposal, including sound collages and interludes that heighten the album's immersive quality; "Big News" is a voicemail from Standell-Preston's aunt that approaches Tenderness' theme of seeking connections through technology from a different, and endearing, standpoint. As Blue Hawaii take listeners on the journey from "Free at Last"'s burst of liberation to the doubt and uncertainty of "Belong to Myself" and "Blossoming from Your Shy" to the title track's joyous acceptance, they balance their impressionistic past with a newfound immediacy. Likewise, Tenderness is of its time and a document of the eternal search for a true relationship -- whether that's with someone else or one's self. ~ Heather Phares
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Electronic/Dance - Released May 15, 2010 | Arbutus Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released October 2, 2019 | Arbutus Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released September 20, 2019 | Arbutus Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released December 17, 2014 | Arbutus Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released September 4, 2018 | Arbutus Records

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Rock - Released September 16, 2019 | Blue Hawaii

House - Released October 27, 2014 | Petsedits

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