Blue Hawaii
Untogether


4.0
excellent

Review

by robin EMERITUS
March 2nd, 2013 | 26 replies | 4,345 views


Release Date: 03/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: [bleep] here, [bloop] [chrrrrr] here

Untogether is a far cry from “chillwave.” This deeper, more finely cut album folds its arms and sits on it, more like Kid A than [Something from 2011], and more into detachment and technological alienation than hanging at the beach. Let’s not extend the analogy any further – you were all there, and we should have always known this wasn’t a trend band. Blooming Summer wasn’t that record, and Blue Hawaii certainly wasn’t built for the summer. As a band, they seemed to get the genre’s situation more than anyone else; chillwave dampened a fertile season, made us celebrate the beach and the ocean while flattening out the party to its basest (and often totally fun) form. What Blue Hawaii did was divorce themselves from the party. When she could have been jamming, Standell-Preston was writing break-up songs about her lover’s body around another woman. It was a good starting point, to have Blooming Summer break-away, to release something pent up, and while Untogether is almost unrecognisable from a song as heart-breaking as “Blue Gowns,” it’s another record with more than just a foundation.

Nothing on Untogether is as visceral as Standell-Preston asking “how stupid can you get” as her ex thrusts into someone else, but the detachment that sets in on it is something to behold. On “Sierra Lift” she retools her voice as an instrument, letting it skip like a stuttering radio frequency. The song’s focal lyric, “come and lift me out of here,” is an unrelenting plea, but one she cuts up and changes – it gets intoned like a search party until everything falls down, and we hear it fade (“here, here…” she leaves as a trail, without modulation). Instead of lamenting someone it lost, Untogether feels around for something, anything, asking mysterious questions and speaking to unknown properties. It’s an obscured record, one that has Standell-Preston misted up on high and us, the listener, close-up and blinded by the foreground. It’s almost as if Untogether wills us to ask questions.

And it’s not that Untogether is alien; there’s a difference between a people-less world and one with people on the other side. The “In Two” single skips because of someone, and pulses, obsessed with its beating heart. This is a beat-orientated record, one that even treats Standell-Preston’s elegiac voice like it’s travelling through. The first part of “In Two” ends with her voice being controlled and again, retooled, there simply to piece together the fragments of the song’s second part. Untogether takes us on board with it, like an interpersonal journey rather than an intimate song cycle of confession. This is what happens when you take the one thing that matters most to you and let it just bleed out.

That’s fucked up, of course, but I like that Blue Hawaii will never really be party music. This record is closer than they got the first time, but it carries an intensity I wouldn’t want to share with anyone – we could dance to “Sweet Tooth,” I guess, but it sounds sinister, the beat dropping with resistance and Standell-Preston’s chants sounding like she’s freeing herself of something. Untogether may be a textual record, like the ones we’d usually be happy to wave away the intricacies of and just get down to, but there’s still something in this band’s music that squirms with doubt. Blooming Summer didn’t know what it was, a record for the sun or the end of something important, and there’s a sense this record, glitching and malfunctioning in every song, doesn’t either. Untogether is cold music reminding us that there’s something for us out there.



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user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.6
great
related reviews

Blooming Summer

Comments:Add a Comment 
robin
Emeritus
March 2nd 2013



4248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i love you, this is a robbery

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2013



15008 Comments


i genuinely never listened to blooming summer or whatever it was called solely because it was never
released above 192kbps i dont think

shameful shit

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2013



21778 Comments


Try To Be is so good

I was gonna review this and this review doesn't really go down the same route I was gonna so I might
still do that

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2013



10311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

robin slummin' it in the user reviews section

Digging: Literature - Chorus

robin
Emeritus
March 2nd 2013



4248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nobody loves

Gyromania
March 2nd 2013



15480 Comments


i do!

robin
Emeritus
March 2nd 2013



4248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i love YOU

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2013



10311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is nice but gives me the same feelings braid did, namely apathy. review is sexy tho

robin
Emeritus
March 2nd 2013



4248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i just want to hug you all the time

Gyromania
March 2nd 2013



15480 Comments


ily2!

seriously this album rules. in two is soooo good

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2013



23804 Comments


Robin this site needs you

robin
Emeritus
March 3rd 2013



4248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

< 3


yes it's so very good

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 3rd 2013



21778 Comments


I really like Sierra Lift

robin
Emeritus
March 3rd 2013



4248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so good. i look forward to your review of this because i should have talked about try 2 be lol

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2013



6093 Comments


Review is right. I wish this album was shorter or warmer. That back half is chilly and compels me to run screaming from its clammy fingers. Is it good though? I don't know.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 3rd 2013



21778 Comments


At first I thought it sounded cold but with further listens I got this cute little tropical twist kind of a vibe from it. Feels like being alone at dusk on a small Caribbean island.

robin
Emeritus
March 3rd 2013



4248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's weird i do like that back half a lot, probably more than the first half now...but it feels like she wanted to make herself (or her words) less a focus of the project and maybe i dunno if that's a good thing

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2013



10311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

you should check out taken by trees' last album btw

robin
Emeritus
March 3rd 2013



4248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mmmmmokay

LilLioness
March 4th 2013



2496 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah so this is another project related to Braids. That explains why I really like it. XD

I think my fave may be "Your to Keep". Kinda reminds me of "Halcyon + on + on" at a slower tempo and
less upbeat.



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