There hasn't been much press surrounding Blue Hawaii and your new album Blooming Summer. Who is Blue Hawaii?I definitely vote for jellybeans when Blue Hawaii opens for Braids at Mercury Loune on September 6th. Tickets are still on sale for the show. Painted Palms are also on the bill, though Braids' tour-mate Pepper Rabbit aren't.
Raph: Blue Hawaii is Alexander Cowan and myself. It's a project that we started when we first met each other. We've been dating for the last while, so it's kind of been, I don't know, I don't how I feel about saying it's like a "love project," but it kind of is, I guess.
The sound you're producing is quite distinct from your other projects. Was it a decision to move away from that or was it just a natural influence?
Raph: It was just a natural influence. Every project that I do really takes on its own sound. Except for a few of the tracks my voice doesn't sound like it does for Braids. It's such a different art form in itself that I become a part of the music. This one was very romantic and wispy, whereas Braids is very urgent and angsty. It was a different part of me, just like Indiensoci is. Indiensoci is very feminine and ethereal.
The live performances of Blue Hawaii feature stylistic elements that are absent from your other projects. Is that adoption part of achieving the blissful aesthetic?
Raph: For sure. Especially lately, coming into my twenties and performing for the last three years, I've become intrigued by the amount of control and freedom that you have as the performer. With Braids, if I were to put on face paint and stuff like that I would just stand out like a sore thumb, and that's not really what Braids is. With Braids, everybody is just wearing jeans and get out of the van and play the show. Blue Hawaii is a bit more of an outlet for the urge in me to explore what it really is to be a performer and to have face paint and to bring all the artistic elements into the performance. I'm excited about it. I want to go even crazier if possible. I want to bring projections and jellybeans.
Blue Hawaii's LP Blooming Summer is out now on Arbutus Records (home of Grimes). You can purchase the album at the Arbutus Records webstore and grab two tracks above. Two more songs are also streaming below.
As mentioned in the interview, Raphaelle also records material as Indiensoci. Grab the Indiensoci track "Besnard" above.
Updated Braids tour dates and songs below...
Blue Hawaii, 'Dream Electrixra'
Braids -- 2011 Tour Dates
07/22 Calgary, AB - Calgary Folk Festival
07/23 Calgary, AB - Calgary Folk Festival
07/24 Guelph, ON - Hillside Festival
07/30 Montreal, QC - Osheaga
08/05 Regina, SK - Regina Folk Festival
07/07 Liege, Belgium - Les Ardentes Festival
07/08 Trenton, Slovakia - Pohoda Festival
07/09 Dublin, Ireland - Oxegen Festival
07/10 Canterbury, UK - Lounge on the Farm Festival
07/11 Brighton, UK - TBD
07/12 Cardiff, UK - TBD
07/14 Hultsfred, Sweden - Hultsfred Festival
07/15 Suffolk, UK - Latitude Festival
09/06 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY?~
09/07 - First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA ^
09/08 - DC9 - Washington DC ^
09/09 - Hopscotch Festival - Raleigh, NC
09/10 - Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta, GA ^
09/11 - Bottletree - Birmingham, AL ^
09/13 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL ^
09/15 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN ^
09/16 - The Royal Albert Arms Hotel - Winnipeg, MB ^
09/18 - Jale - Saskatoon, SK
09/19 - Pawn Shop - Edmonton, AB ^
09/20 - The Republik - Calgary, AB
09/22 - Rifflandia - Victoria, BC ^
09/23 - Electric Owl - Olio Festival - Vancouver, BC
09/24 - Sunset Tavern - Seattle, WA ^
09/27 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA ^
09/28 - Detroit Bar - Costa Mesa, CA ^
09/29 - Echo - Los Angeles, CA ^
09/30 - Sail Inn - Tempe, AZ ^
10/01 - Corazon - Santa Fe, NM ^
10/02 - Lowbrow Palace - El Paso, TX ^
10/04 - The Mohawk - Austin, TX ^
10/05 - Club Dada - Dallas, TX ^
10/06 - Firebird - St. Louis, MO ^
10/07 - The Bishop - Bloomington, IN ^
10/08 - Beachland Tavern - Cleveland, OH ^
10/09 - Magic Stick Lounge - Detroit, MI ^
10/10 - Call The Office - London, ON ^
10/14 - Legendary Horseshoe Tavern - Toronto, ON
10/15 - Babylon - Ottawa, ON
10/16 - Le Cercle - Quebec, QC ^
10/17 - The Capital Complex - Fredericton, NB
10/19 - SPACE - Portland, ME ^
10/20 - Great Scott - Boston, MA ^
* w/ Chad Van Gaalen
& w/ Castlemusic
! w/ Wild Nothing
@ w/ We Are The City
# w/ Rae Spoon
$ w/ Julianna Barwick
^ w/ Pepper Rabbit
+ w/ Ohbijou
= w/ Austra
~ - w/ Painted Palms
? - w/ Blue Hawaii