Quick Before it Melts

The other day

January 2, 2013  |  Published in iNTRODUCiNG

Blue Hawaii l-r: Raphaelle Standell-Preston, Alex Cowan


So here’s a little story about what the last month of 2012 was like for me.

I’m sitting at my computer one day, as I have done on many other days just like this one in particular, and I’m working on my digital music library: sorting, cleaning, labeling, and making it all pretty.  I used to spend hours doing the same thing, sitting in front of my shelves of CDs and LPs, making sure things were in the right spot, that the spines were all arranged so that the labels all faced the same direction, and that records were sorted alphabetically by artist, then chronologically by release dates.  That’s a bit harder to do when you;re working with digital files and folders, but I do my best.  Anyway, on this particular day, I had a ceratin album that was added to the library that wasn’t labeled correctly, and so I set about addressing these errors.  Unbeknownst to me, though, I had inadvertently selected ALL the albums in my library, so the changes to labeling I was about to make for one record were going to be applied to all the music in my collection, which at the time numbered close to 25,000 songs.  So now I had 25,000 mislabeled songs, songs no longer associated with the album they came from, and in some cases, no longer attributed to the artist that recorded them.  Over the course of many long days and weeks, I spent my free time using recovery software to “clean up” the files, and bring that sense of order I so desperately crave and cling to back to my music collection.  Hardly any time for my other passion–listening to new music–that would in turn be added to this collection.

It wasn’t until last week, with the end of the re-labeling process clearly in sight, that I even considered finding something new and exciting to listen to and add to the collection, but like all good obsessions, the desire for new music couldn’t be ignored, and so I went exploring, and came upon Blue Hawaii.  They’re a two-piece made up of Raph (aka Raphaelle Standell-Preston of my much loved Braids) and Agor (a.k.a. Alex Cowan) who have been working on Blue Hawaii intermittently as their other musical commitments permitted, but spent the bulk of last winter crafting their new album, Untogether, soon to be released by Montreal’s Arbutus Records.  The pair of tracks that make up “In Two / Singles” is the first sample of Untogether, and has earned its parent album the title of my first highly anticipated release of 2013.  These two gorgeously layered synth-based compositions showcase Standell-Preston’s amazingly warm and seductive voice, while the accompaniment evokes the chilly isolation of the biting cold winter is was created in.  If I hadn’t been able to recover any of my old music library, and had to build a new one from scratch, “In Two” Parts I and II would be more than enough of a fresh start for me.  I can’t think of a better way to kick off a new year of music postings.

CBC Music: Blue Hawaii
Facebook: Blue Hawaii
Twitter: Blue Hawaii


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