Haleiwa

Pura Vida Dude

Written by: PP on 09/12/2010 03:27:04

Are you feeling cold yet? I heard the temperature in Copenhagen is about to hit -15 degrees celsius for the next week onwards, which is likely to feel a lot colder thanks to the wind chill factor brought by the ridiculous winds this country has 99% of all available time and space. Brrr, I hear a lot of people saying and thinking out loud, which is where Stockholm, Sweden based Haleiwa's new record "Pura Vida Dude" could come in handy. It's an almost entirely instrumental album full of implied warmth, because it effectively carries in its music a picture of what us Danes think about when someone mentions Hawaii to us: a paradise island with palm trees, extensive white sand beaches, fruit cocktails, stunningly beautiful, exotic girls hanging a lei over our necks as soon as we step out of the plane, and that sort of thing. It's rare to hear an artist embody a place so vividly and fully through sound as on this album.

Though the album rarely includes vocals, instead relying on a wide variety instruments and a playful, joyous acoustic guitar at the forefront, occasionally you do get some relaxing, calming ones to add to the Hawaii effect. These are delivered so silently and calmly that they imply a dream-like state, a sense of hope and wishing, as if the artist himself is closing his eyes and imagining what it would feel like being in Hawaii completely devoid of the worries and hurries of the real world. It's quite impressive just how well Haleiwa re-creates that marketing-based image in our head of the island as a paradise on earth through simple instrumentation. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why, but all the instrumentation emits warm weather, worry-free atmosphere, and relaxed mood throughout the whole album. If you're familiar with Courtney Love's Hole, who are in wholly different genre of course, her band's songs have a very similar effect. They paint and embody the whole feeling and idea of Malibu, Los Angeles on every stroke of the guitar and every bit of vocals she sings. It's essentially exactly what's happening here.

But aside from being able to fill the listener's mind with vivid images and feelings of what it is like to be on a tropical island, I'm afraid I'll have to call out that Haleiwa's musical value as an album and as individual songs isn't very big. It's a great artistic experiment, and the whole concept of the band is executed to near-perfection, but you'd have to extremely high or just incredibly tired to put on this instead of any other band you own, simply because this isn't a record you'll listen to for its music, but rather the feeling and the imagery within it. What I'm saying is that it's the perfect record for those specific times, but it's also a niche record because you'll very rarely be in the mood for something like this.

Download: Lifelong, Tropical Punch
For the fans of: 311 (ballads), the idea of Hawaii as a paradise
Listen: Myspace

Release date 07.07.2010
Friend Of Mine Records

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