Blue Hawaii is the songwriting, production, and DJ project of Raphaelle ‘Ra’ Standell and Alexander ‘Agor’ Kerby. After some four years apart, the duo rekindled their creative flame in 2016 and begun writing music about an intimate relationship Ra was experiencing mostly over instant messaging, sparking ideas about the meaning of closeness in our highly connected world.
Today, they duo is pleased to announce their new album Tenderness due for release on October 6th via Arbutus Records. With the announcement they share the album’s lead single, “No One Like You”
Listen to “No One Like You”
Tenderness is a concept album which brings forth the challenges of handling relationships online. Maintaining closeness over distance and a need for more tenderness between each other – both in real and virtual life – are important themes in the album’s progression. The album draws upon influence from 90’s dance tracks and deep disco cuts, often mixed with Ra’s acoustic guitar playing. It unfolds like a play and each song being supported by shorter interlude pieces: skits, phone calls, acoustic demos, real life samples and quiet left-turns. “Free At Last” opens as a smooth house jam with a half-spoken vocal, rasping out the bittersweet tear between the end of Ra’s last relationship and her budding self-confidence. The listener is guided through the many other phases of letting go: pining, anger, nostalgia, forgiveness, and abandonment, until reaching the title track, “Tenderness”. Here the strength which Ra has been searching for is boldly stated: “I learn to greet the day, with as much tenderness as if I were laying in your arms, learning how to be alone without you, and happy to be with me”.
Blue Hawaii have traced a unique path. They made a splash back in 2010 by releasing the sun-soaked EP Blooming Summer, following their loving, dustyrose coloured travels through Central America. Three years quickly passed and they suddenly found themselves touring a break-up record called Untogether (2013), dealing with complex issues surrounding technology & their relationship, living apart while creating together, and seeing their local community torn apart by success and jealousy. Since then, Ra spent much of her time with her band Braids, while Agor has lived in LA and Berlin developing a deeper understanding of dance music production and DJing — something the two are well known to bring to their heavy-hitting live show & DJ sets.
The cover image of Tenderness is shot in Agor’s ex-living room in Glendale, CA – it depicts a couple close to each other, ironically tender, communicating primarily on their phones. This speaks to the contradictory power of technology, wherein people are both alienated and brought together by its use. It offers one view on our preferred method of staying in touch, but not an altogether depressing one for it is somehow also rose-coloured and loving, with room for personal growth. By the end of the record Ra has dismissed her absent lover and finds validation without a need for them – investing newfound energy in being tender to herself.
Blue Hawaii – Tenderness (October 6th – Arbutus)
Free At Last
No One Like You
Belong to Myself
Prepare for Flight
Make Love Stay
Blossoming From Your Story
Searching For You
Do You Need Me
Far Away Soon
Pre-Order Tenderness: http://smarturl.it/9vj2m5
Response to both singles from Kauf’s forthcoming debut album ‘Regrowth’ has been excellent, with support from BBC Radio 1, KCRW,KEXP, Thump, XLR8R and many more.
In the week of release for ‘A Ruin,’Kauf topped the Hype Machine’s ‘Most Blogged Artist’ chart with 19 posts. Friday, 10th of June, sees the release of Blue Hawaii’ stake on ‘A Ruin’ via Kauf’s own One Half label.
Keep an eye out for the Man Power remix coming soon too. It will be available on Friday on all online retailers and streaming services, but can be downloaded for free until then on Kauf’s Bandcamp.
If you’ve ever needed a soundtrack to your existential crisis, Kauf has made exactly that. Who hasn’t pondered the existence of God or the meaning of life while going full-throttle on the dancefloor. Kauf has achieved the nearly impossible feat of making dance music that is also song led and lyrically complex. There just aren’t that many records that can work in a DJ set and also explore emotional conflicts with your family and society at large.
The project of Ronald Kaufman, Kauf took shape after moving back to his birthplace of Los Angeles. He self-released his first single in 2011 –“Relocate” b/w “When You’re Out,” which quickly found its way into the hands of Dan Whitford of Cut Copy who released the “As Much Again” EP on his own Cutters Records.
His debut album ‘Regrowth’ is out later in the year, but before that he’ll be releasing a few more tracks alongside equally staggering remixes from some of the electronic worlds greatest underground talents. Look out for more original tracks and remixes coming soon….
Here’s a new remix by Montreal electronic duo Blue Hawaii of producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Morly. “And Sooner Than We Know It…(Blue Hawaii Remix)” brings the song’s delicate crystalline guitar together with a densely evolving rhythmic backdrop while retaining the autumnal, choral atmosphere of the original.
Morly recently released her debut EP ‘In Defense Of My Muse’ in August on Cascine. She makes textured and meditative tracks over minimal electronic beats with a kind of choral quality to them, using her voice predominantly as an added texture and alternating between traditional and electronic instrumentation. She first emerged last year with the tracks Seraphese and Maelstrom (which was released as part of Ryan Hemsworth’s Secret Songs series).
To mark Tei Shi’s UK & Europe live debut, which kicks off today at The Great Escape, Tei Shi has shared an official remix of ‘Go Slow‘, courtesy of Montreal duo Blue Hawaii. The remix, which premiered today on Crack Magazine (for which Tei Shi is the current issue’s cover star), combines glitchy beats with ambient soundscapes and soft vocal.
Tei Shi’s star has been steadily rising since her hypnotic pop debut EP Saudade and now with the highly anticipated follow up Verde EP, which was released on Double Denim last month.
UK / European Tour Dates
14.05.15 – The Great Escape 2015 – Brighton, UK
15.05.15 – Beursschouwburg – Brussels, Belgium
17.05.15 – London Calling Festival 2015 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
19.05.15 – Pop Up du Label – Paris, France
21.05.15 – Red Gallery – London, UK
22.05.15 – Dot to Dot Festival 10th Birthday 2015 – Manchester, UK
23.05.15 – Dot to Dot Festival 10th Birthday 2015 – Bristol, UK
23.05.15 – Sound City – Liverpool, UK
24.05.15 – Dot to Dot Festival 10th Birthday 2015 – Nottingham, UK
29.05.15 – Forbidden Fruit Festival – Dublin, Ireland
31.05.15 – Berlin Festival – Berlin, Germany
02.06.15 – O2 Academy Bournemouth – London, UK
03.06.15 – O2 Academy Brixton – London, UK
05.06.15 – Shacklewell Arms – London, UK
06.06.15 – Field Day 2015 – London, UK
07.06.15 – The Parklife Weekender 2015 – Manchester, UK
“2014 led Blue Hawaii around the world. Over multiple visits to Russia, China/SE Asia, Mexico, Japan, Europe and the US, it felt like everything was coming up opposite Untogether, the album we made. Instead of being secluded in a Montreal apartment writing a fragmented break-up record, we were travelling vast distances, rediscovering each other as close friends and tying together radically different cultures. Our music came to reflect that. Live, everything sounded more together and higher energy than the record in an effort to find common ground with all those different audiences.
It’s the end of the year, so to commemorate the global underground touring we did— to all the people who were interested in coming to and putting on a Blue Hawaii show in Bangkok or Vilnius— we decided to put together a free mixtape of edits — somewhere between the dreamy record and the banging live show.
In 2015, Ra will focus on her other band, BRAIDS, who have just completed a beautiful, deeply emotional, new record which I am very excited to see come into the world. I will use what I’ve learnt this year DJing and roaming the earth to produce more music this winter — planning on releasing material in a similar vein to this mixtape and hitting SXSW this March as DJ Blue Hawaii.. holding down the fort until Ra and I can record another album… something 4 y’all to look forward to! —;)” Agor (the boy in Blue Hawaii)
Download the whole thing here.
Populous, the moniker of Italian producer Andrea Mangia has shared a Blue Hawaii remix of “Fall”, featuring the breathy vocals of Kyoto native, Cuushe. Taken from Populous’ latest full-length, Night Safari, out now via Berlin-based label Bad Panda Records.
In case you missed it, check out Blue Hawaii’s recent single “Get Happy” backed with an edit of the song, “Get Happier”, here.
“Get Happy’ is a song we recorded one day in January 2014 but laid to rest as we got lost in the commotion of touring and moving to separate cities. As the year progressed, we found our live show intensify but still had all these softer recordings which would never be released. Hence we present Get Happy / Get Happier, where we explore both sides: the original demo and a fun, double-time edit made one day in August.”
– Blue Hawaii
Availalbe for free download here.