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 ’90s 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.
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.
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.
01 Free at Last
02 No One Like You
04 Versus Game
05 Belong to Myself
06 Prepare for Flight
07 Younger Heart
09 Make Love Stay
10 Big News
11 Blossoming From Your Story
12 Searching for You
13 Do You Need Me
16 Far Away Soon
October 6th | Montreal, QC | Club Lambi –
October 7th | Toronto, ON | Longboat Hall –
October 8th | Ottawa, ON | The 27 Club –
October 13th | Los Angeles, CA | The Moroccan Lounge –
October 14th | Vancouver, BC | Celebrities Underground –
October 19th | New York, NY | Good Room –
November 3rd | Quebec, QC | Imperial –
Tour dates: Europe
11/16 Amsterdam, NL – Muzieklokall @ de School
11/21 London, UK – Pickle Factory
11/22 Paris, FR – Supersonic
11/23 Cologne, DE – Gewölbe
11/24 Heidelberg, DE – Karlstorbahnhof
11/25 Berlin, DE – Internet Explorer
11/26 Warsaw, PL – Kulturalna