Certain songs or albums are so laden with an atmosphere that they easily capture a moment in time or a specific aura synonymous with that release. With summer fast approaching, Go Hawaii have managed to capture the sound of the season; albeit a month early.
Go Hawaii – Trespass
The Italian Indie rockers’ latest takes what worked best on their previous project- 2018’s Soft Bathrobe EP- while tightening up where necessary. Still focused on delivering rollicking riffs in a jangly manner, the overall production has seen a jump in clarity which better highlighted the high-quality sound on display. Tracks such as ‘Kelowna’ and ‘Blac Slant’ greatly benefit from this- the snappy synths intertwining with the guitar riffs in a direct and appealing manner. Other tracks adopt a hazier sound- one of my standout favourites ‘Coral Blues’ accomplishes this by burying the vocals beneath a wash of atmospheric instrumentals. Even amongst these more ethereal tracks, the production feels more like an artistic choice. The band know when to bring the rocking to the fore and when to dip back into the bliss of ambiance.
Trespass displays a startling consistency across its runtime, in spite of the many difficulties the band faced throughout the COVID 19 pandemic. Directly delaying the album and forcing the band to cancel plans to perform at New York City’s notable ‘New Colossus’ festival, COVID couldn’t Go Hawaii from releasing a number of spectacular singles. While tracks such as ‘Coastal’ and ‘Dolphin’s Touch’ should be held in high regard, the non-album single ‘Midnight Company’ sees the band cutting loose to great effect with international pals Secret B. While my focus must remain on Trespass, this collaboration is one that fully deserves further recognition as a buoyant and catchy piece.
Recalling the best parts of summer-sounding beach rockers like Wavves or Surf Curse, Go Hawaii also inject post-punk style vocals that work well in punctuating the dreamy instrumentals. The lyrics themselves often read like poetry- ‘Blac Slant’s’ references to the “doormat of your mind” and the “pleasure pills down your throat” decry the brighter orchestration in favour of heavier, more literary topics. Yet, long summer seasons are never too far away. Nods to “high tide”, “mermaid(s) on the cruise” and the “haze of this afternoon” consistently draw the mind back to long, lazy days on the beach. Across the succinct 30-minute runtime, there isn’t a moment when the ocean waves are out of reach.
Coming a long way from your typical bedroom-pop affair, Go Hawaii have released a nigh-on impeccable album that isn’t afraid to show its heart. Once you delve beneath the surface, there is plenty of depth to this brilliant and breezy new project.
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Words Angus Nisbet