Vancouver’s quintet, Said the Whale is turning heads with their fourth studio album, hawaiii. After six years of creating and releasing music, the band has stayed true to their wonderfully crafted mix of pop and rock roots. Hawaii leaves listeners dancing on the spot, tapping their feet and humming soft melodies as they drift off to a musical escape, which so happens to be the meaning behind their album name.
Said the Whale is known for their unique dynamic of interchanging vocalists and three-piece harmonies making every song sound distinct from the last. “More Than This” is the track that opens up the album with a soft, slow and euphonious tone. The inviting and relaxing introduction is drastically contrasted with “Mother” and “Narrows”, two upbeat and high-energy dance tracks. Their single “I Love You” follows, which attracted attention from radio stations all over the United States. The song’s catchy chorus has listeners humming its fun and mesmerizing tune. It is unlike anything the band has released in their formative years.
The album continues with “Resolutions” and “Willow.” These tracks are a break from the fast-paced and energetic sounds to more experimental melodies, heavier guitar riffs, and a more emotional feel. Hawaii is a perfect blend of infectious and engaging high-energy songs with darker, serious and slower-paced songs. Said the Whale’s album offers tracks that appeal to audiences that desire both musical extremes.
The remaining tracks on the album reflect the band’s musical versatility. Vocalists Tyler Bancroft and Ben Worcester’s stylistic choices when it came to the songwriting for hawaii maintains certain stylistic choices similar to their previous album Little Mountain but with surprising new changes like rapping in “Resolutions.”
The band’s overall ability to grow, and effortlessly evolve their sound are reasons for their success today. Said the Whale has proven that they are more than ready to be taken seriously beyond Canada’s borders.