Blue Hawaii

Montreal experimental electronic pop duo Blue Hawaii have been quiet of late, and haven’t released a new song since 2014’s utterly beautiful “Get Happy/Get Happier” single. Of course, there was the killer Agor Edits mixtape last year, meant to tide us over to what seems like it could be an exciting 2016 from them. They’ve hinted at new material coming lately, and seeing as how 2013’s Untogether is one of our favourite albums this decade, we’re eagerly awaiting their next sure-to-be masterpiece.

Agor (that’s Alex Cowan, half of the band) is also known for his meticulously detail-oriented productions, and today he put out a remix of Brooklyn duo Glassio’s “If I Was Your Boy”. It’s a dark and moody experimental house track that transforms the original by submerging the vocals, so that they become mere whispers, full of delay and mystery. Exquisite, as always.

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MP3: Antoine93 – Me and the Sound

Antoine93 has thoroughly entertained us over the years with his alternate-universe pop sound, and his latest single “Me and the Sound” probably would be his first #1 hit in that universe. His first release since the amazing “Extra Strong” video, it’s a slickly produced dance track with a monstrous vocal hook and a deep deep groover. But despite it’s crossover potential, the song still has enough weirdness to keep things fascinating, especially with that wobbly bass and those sequenced pinging synths.

But wait, there’s more! None other than Montreal underground pop superstars Blue Hawaii have remixed the song, taking it to darker, more submerged ocean depths. Both tracks were produced under Berlin Community Radio’s Welcome to Berlin program, of which our bloggy brethren No Fear of Pop are a part.

Both the original and the remix available for free download from Bandcamp, so go grab them! And be sure to check out Antoine93’s Maybe Unlock My Heart, released last year, but still amazing.

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New Release: Blue Hawaii – Agor Edits Mixtape

Blue Hawaii‘s Untogether was undeniably one of the best albums of 2013. But if you’ve ever seen the duo live, you know that they can twist their sweet and atmospheric songs into a beat-heavy dance party. Now you can finally capture some of that energy in your everyday life!

In this mixtape of edits, the bass is turned up, the tempos are faster, and Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s unique and powerful voice is mixed into haunting new harmonies. It’s kind of like seeing some dear old friends who have gotten cooler and more confident in the years since you’ve seen each other.¬†There’s some new acquaintances too, like the sexually yearning “All of My Heart” and a fairly faithful cover of Kyle Hall’s “Ghosten” with vocals added on top.

Get over to Soundcloud and download a copy for yourself!

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MP3: Blue Hawaii – Get Happy/Get Happier

The first new Blue Hawaii since the release of Untogether is definitely something to get excited about! Recorded earlier this year, the band found themselves becoming more and more dance oriented, so made two versions of the same song, “Get Happy” in their older softer style and “Get Happier” as the banger one has learned to expect from their live shows. The difference between live and recorded Blue Hawaii is always striking, and it’s interesting to see them reconcile that in their latest output.

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Pile of Best Albums: Sean Nicholas Savage – Other Life

Sean Nicholas Savage – More Than I Love Myself
Sean Nicholas Savage – It’s Real

At some point in 2012, Sean Nicholas Savage decided to cross the Atlantic to Berlin in pursuit of another life. Long-known for releasing multiple albums in a single year (without suffering from a dilution of quality), the prolific artist was strangely silent, busy consolidating his efforts into a single statement.

But it would be wrong to call Other Life polished in any way. Despite the sheen given by Arbutus teammate Agor (of Blue Hawaii)’s mixing, it retains the rough-around-the-edges charm of every other Savage release. Other Life sees Sean delving even deeper into kitschy soft-pop textures, but despite the deceptive-upon-first-glance exterior the songs remains as powerful and poignant as ever. It’s tough to pick a highlight from this record by one of the country’s master songwriters. Perhaps the title track, which just had a brilliant Angus Borsos-directed video released for it this week? A couple of tracks here are repeats from 2011’s brilliant Flamingo, but “Chin Chin” and “You Changed Me” definitely deserve to be heard by a wider audience. Long-recognized by his peers, Other Life is finally seeing Sean get some of the recognition he’s always deserved. Available now on CD and vinyl from Arbutus.

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