Written by Nora Jones
After many years of releasing EPs including Honey Gold (2015), More Honey (2017), and No Honey (2018), 4-piece, Canadian indie-rock band Goodbye Honolulu has finally released their debut, self-titled album.
I was introduced to them when I first saw them live almost four years ago opening for Hinds, during their 2018 I DON’T RUN world tour in Los Angeles. They had two opening acts—the first of which was very slow and a little dreary for my liking, but then, Goodbye Honolulu came in and played noisy, loud, and with tons of energy, 15 minutes straight before even introducing themselves by asking the audience: “Are you awake now!”
But enough with the past! The first song to be released on this album was “U Got It” way back in 2019 which a lovely song featuring a droning, drum-machine beat layered with a surf-y sounding guitar riff throughout.
In the beginning of 2020, they then released “Cut Off”, and then over a year later, when they announced their album, released “Over and Over.” I’ll be honest—after these three singles, I wasn’t quite convinced how they were all going to work together to create one cohesive album, but I was still very excited for the release.
Then, the second single post-announcement, “You and Me”, was released, and I fell in love. It is a true ear worm with a guitar rhythm that resembles that of “Hey Little Child” by Alex Chilton. It has a perfect beginning and end and the middle is filled with lyrics singing about people telling them what to to all the time, but the speaker just wants to be with another person—if all you ever wanted was someone to get haunted with, well baby that’s you and me. Even months later, this song still hasn’t managed to leave my brain.
This was followed with the single “Shine” which is another great song—very lovely and sweet— but yet, I still wasn’t sure how they were going to make all these songs go together. But finally I got to hear the album in its entirety.
It is a wonderful conglomeration of indie rock that both respects contemporary indie rock with its modern production but also its uses many old school sounding, rockabilly guitar riffs like on “Dye My Hair” (which could be one of my favorite songs on the album). While the songs are all very distinct from each other, the production and the track order ties them all together in a way
that I really wasn’t expecting. I also absolutely love the way they play with tempo a lot within the songs themselves. I listened to this album at least 20 times all the way through since its release.