Photo by Saam Richard
Intoxicating indie band Hawai are newcomers that deliver a familiar vibe and lively energy. The California based outfit stimulates nostalgic feels with laid-back instrumentals while vocalist Jake Pappas’ full-force vocals swap singer-songwriter moments for more vivacious build-ups.
The band’s debut EP Working All Night, which will arrive June 17th from Antler Records, sets the stage for their impending breakthrough — which seems undeniable upon first listen. Hawai’s lushly layered tracks and relatable lyrics that relay timeless trivialities such as wanting it, “all my way,” as Pappas sings on “Fault” or wondering, “where’s my heart at” as he does on lead single “In My Head”, make the EP repeat worthy.
“The EP was made from a collection of about 10 working songs,” Pappas tells Consequence of Sound. “Songs that were almost there but still needed some love.”
To help the songs move into phases of final production, the band called upon Lars Stalfors (Cold War Kids, Deap Vally) to produce their EP. Pappas said they all immediately got along with Stalfors’ way of working.
“He understood the band’s vision and really inspired us during the writing process,” Pappas tells CoS. “It was in many ways effortless. We never knew songwriting could be simplified, and always thought you had to slave over lyrics and cry a little bit out of frustration when you can’t think of a melody. But Lars really opened our eyes to the simplification of writing. That’s not to say we didn’t slave over the EP, but it was definitely a smoother process then we’ve experienced in the past.”
While the writing and recording process was somewhat smooth sailing, the song’s lyrical content expose a more turbulent time, and were inspired by a particular period in Pappas’ life.
“I quit my job to move to L.A., my wife had just found out she was pregnant, we couldn’t find work right away… lots of change and transition all at once. But we love L.A., so we were happy to go through the momentary struggle together. It was really hard some days. But there was also a lot of joy during that period too.”
The ups and downs of riding that rollercoaster come through on Hawai’s EP, and are portrayed though the sonic highs and lows of each song. But listening to just one song off Working All Night is like reaching the rollercoaster’s highest point and getting off before the descent down — any ride, much like the band’s EP, is best when experienced in full, from start to finish.
Stream Working All Night below:
Working All Night EP Tracklist:
01. In My Head
02. On My Own
04. All Night
Hawai 2016 Tour Dates:
05/18 – San Diego, CA @ The Loft at UCSD *
05/19 – Costa Mesa, CA @ The Wayfarer ^
05/21 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones #
06/03 – Del Mar, CA @ Del Mar Fairgrounds %
06/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Dirty Laundry $
07/09 – Santa Monica, CA @ Showtime Presents: EatSeeHear
07/23 – San Pedro, CA @ Lobster Fest
* = w/ Geographer, Rivvrs
^ = w/ Charlie Hilton
# = w/ The Blues & Greys
% = w/ Switchfoot
$ = EP release show