Apparently, if you mix together disco, synth funk, and modern day psychedelic rock with a splash of chill Hawaiian vibes, you get what Trent Kainalu calls "Hawaii-fi".
And it works. The songwriter and producer is based out of Wisconsin but is originally from Hawaii, and his sound is definitely something that should be on your radar. I noticed that one of his tracks, "Finding Peace of Mind" randomly hit Hype Machine #1 a couple months back, which is pretty cool. Today, Kainalu has released "Folds Like Origami", another laid-back tune of his to sink down into.
Growing up in a Hawaiian culture, folding origami was deeply rooted into every wedding Trent attended. The bride is supposed to fold 1,000 paper cranes, symbolizing the patience she will have in the marriage. But according to Trent, “it’s usually the bride's family who actually ends up doing the folding”.
Despite this amusing tidbit, Trent was amazed at the beauty and complexity of transforming something basic into something beautiful without changing or adding anything to the material itself:
“I wanted to try and capture this imagery and apply it a person's worldview. The line of the song for me is "The world opens up to you, it folds like origami. So drop the things you knew, they fold like origami." Recently I've been getting more and more into meditation. I kind of see a parallel between origami with mediation. By finding peace within yourself, I think you can make your own beautiful in the world around you. Just like by finding a new shape within a flat piece of paper, you can create a beautiful peace of art”
Ironically, the "Folds Like Origami" has taken on many lives; at one point it had an R&B neo-soul vibe and the next it was a straight-up Drake beat. But what really makes this track stand out is the balancing act of the peaceful lyrics combined with the punchy synth punk vibe. The gritty synth solo mid-way through the track was created run through a long, thoughtful process of running his analogue through a significant number of pedals and then massively “compressing the hell out of it.”