“Björk meets The xx and DJ Koze” - good enough for us. Raphaelle Standell plays in indie pop outfit Braids, and on-and-off partner Alex Cowan produces and DJs house & techno; and their latest effort together as Blue Hawaii is certainly the sum of their influences, and much more. Most of the tracks are built on a solid foundation of 4x4 techno kicks, further anchored by domestic disco basslines, flourishes of synth and Standell’s alluring vocals. The lyrics found on Tenderness - described as a “breakup record” - are perhaps best summarized by the up-to-date picture of modern relationships depicted on the cover (a couple seated side by side on a couch, on their phones). Lead single “No One Like You” is a cover of Kenix's West End disco classic, and could easily be one of the better album cuts from Basement Jaxx’ criminally underrated Rooty LP, with its infectious groove, meticulous production and Standell’s bedroom diva cadence. The tracks are tied together by a series of interludes comprised of field recordings, mini-songs and voicemails - the latter of which reminds us of the chilling voicemail that pops up in the third act of Chromatics’ sprawling Kill For Love LP - only way more cynical & depressing. Fans of Toro Y Moi, Jessy Lanza, Glass Candy and Nite Jewel’s last few records will be pleased. This limited edition pressing on ‘tender blue’ colored vinyl comes with custom obi strip and code for digital download.
- 'tender blue' colored vinyl pressing
- custom obi strip
- digital download included
- limited edition
- music label: Arbutus Records 2017
reviewed by frau farbissina 10/2017
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