Song You Need to Know: Blue Hawaii, ‘Feelin”

Blue Hawaii capture the rapture and rhythm of Nineties vocal house on “Feelin,’” which appears on the duo’s recent EP Under 1 House.

“Feelin’” opens with satisfyingly crunchy drum programming — there is enough thwack to demand your attention, and little clatters and clanks that make you want to listener harder. A simple synth riff carries the melody, as is the case in so many house classics, and Raphaelle “Ra” Standell-Preston sings lines about a glorious infatuation with brassy clarity.

It could all be a tidy package, but Blue Hawaii can’t resist adding a little chaos in the form of a flaring saxophone, which skronks and squeals across the tightly bunched percussion. “Feelin’” comes to a close in under four minutes, but it’s easy to imagine it lasting twice as long, with Standell-Preston and the saxophone vying to ignite a packed dance-floor, back when those existed.

In a statement, the duo explained that Under 1 House was composed while on tour in North America and Europe during 2019. Much of the recording was done later “in rural Québec,” and the two members of Blue Hawaii put finishing touches on the six songs while holed up in Montreal and Berlin this year. Blue Hawaii’s last album, Open Reduction Internal Fixation, came out in 2019.

Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.