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For two decades, Collections of Colonies of Bees have existed in various forms and incarnations, beginning with Chris Rosenau and Jon Mueller (who split time with post-rock band Pele). From there, the line-up grew and evolved. At one time, Nick Sanborn - currently in the spotlight as one-half of Sylvan Esso - counted himself as a member. At another, the group joined forces with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon to release two albums under the moniker Volcano Choir. In fact, it was Vernon who proclaimed of his collaborators: "If the world was perfect, they would be as big as U2."
Never content to paint the soundscape twice, the previously instrumental Bees now come outfitted with vocalist Marielle Allschwang and a new full-length, Hawaii, that finds the Wisconsin-based ensemble harvesting the fertile intersection between experimental and pop to maximum effect. Lead single "Ruins" exemplifies the album's fertile intersection of experimental and pop. Daniel Spack and Allschwang sing a duet that bears the LP's closest resemblance to a verse-chorus song format, before Bees suddenly submerge the listener into deep sub-bass tones and layers of exhalations.