When you hear the two words ‘Electric Hawaii,’ what comes to mind? Hawaii’s beaches? A fun vacation? Synthesizers? Luckily, on Opossom’s debut album, you get it all: the electric, the relaxing, the sunny. The band creates a beachy sound that borrows from the old, yet creates something new as well.
Based in New Zealand, Opossom lies under the shadow of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, one of the most popular indie bands with members from the island nation. In fact, Kody Nielson of Opposom is the brother of Ruban Nielson of UMO. The groups do require comparison. While both have reverb galore, and psychedelic guitar lines, Opossom often relaxes where UMO gets frantic. While you might want to listen to UMO when cleaning your house, Opossom would be more fitting for a hangout on the beach.
The album is over shockingly quick. Half an hour long, and with no song reaching four minutes, Electric Hawaii is a brief listen. Yet the band manages to delve deeply into their psychedelic, space-pop sound without needing any more time. All ten tracks are solid, catchy, beach-ready jams with a tinge of hazy, warped hallucinogens added to the mix.
“Girl” kicks off the album and it’s a rollicking track that combines a cheery Beach Boys feel with bouncy marimbas that could easily be in a sequel to (500) Days Of Summer. Most of the tracks sound like they would fit in at a ’60s party, except for the heavy reverb that brings to mind so many indie bands today.
About halfway through the last track, “Inhaler Song,” the clean sound found throughout the album explodes, leaving grimy, glitchy bass at the forefront of the music for about a minute. This breakdown not only shows that the band is capable of more than just sunny pop, but also gives them a promising new direction in case they want to pursue that sound in the future. The mix of reverb-heavy guitars and a huge, dirty bass combine to form something intriguingly epic. Even though it’s only present for about a minute on the entire album, its a perfect ending to the record. It amps up the power, while looking ahead to the future.