The Raveonettes seem to have pulled a Beyoncé by releasing their new album “Pe’ahi” without much warning. The follow-up to 2012’s “Observator” is named after a place on the north shore of the island of Maui. It has lent its name to a big wave surfing break, also known as Jaws. While at first it might seem hard to find a link between Danish shoegazers and a surfing hotspot in Hawaii, Sune Rose Wagner explains how it’s about a horrific near-drowning experience he had in Hawaii some years ago and as such, it’s about taking risks in order to exist.
By incorporating things like choirs, harps, unconventional song structures and different ways of singing, “Pe’ahi” turned out to be something of a different beast indeed, which makes it a bit of a risk for The Raveonettes. The band’s trademark sleek, noiry, ’60s indebted pop wrapped in fuzzed up shoegaze sounds are however still very much there. But this time around Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo have taken things to the next level by throwing extra levels of noise in the mix in songs like “Sisters” and “A Hell Below”, taking it to the point where it almost seems over the top. Almost. But not quite. In order to counter these songs, they also included the triphop beats of “Wake Me Up”, a songs that comes with Foo’s most cooing vocals to date alongside orchestral arrangements.
In short, while The Raveonettes have changed some things on “Pe’ahi”, it’s still very much another Raveonettes album. And even if it’s not quite as bootylicious as Beyoncé’s, it’s really, really good.