Thirty Seconds into Jason Holstrom’s new island-pop-masterpiece, The Thieves Of Kailua and you’re on vacation. Much like the Hawaiian-portal that must have opened up in his bedroom studio in Seattle, The Thieves Of Kailua channels a colorful tropical paradise of the past. In the album’s opener, “Crystal Green,” sunny, melodic surf-guitar and whip-cracks punctuate a tribal beat under a bouncing bed of ukuleles and angelic vocal harmonies. The stage is set for a half hour island-adventure journey that is completely different than anything else you’ll find in music today.
Jason is better known as a founding member of Seattle stand-outs U.S.E and Wonderful. He is also active recording other artists; recent credits include the new Aqueduct and Dolour albums. In the midst of two years of U.S.E tours and other recording sessions, Jason set out to capture an older sound of Hawaii, referencing traditional as well as modern production techniques and diving into the catalogs of 60′s pop and old Hawaiian and Calypso stars. He then single-handedly created a richly textured, pop-concept record with massive layering of sound and spirit. Unlike his previous productions, Thieves is an entirely organic construction, completely devoid of synthesizers or drum machines. The sound palette of the record is rich and bright, combining layer upon layer of vocal harmonies, ukuleles, percussion, slide-guitars, horn sections, field recordings and more to complete each colorful song. The music is pop by nature and remains in the listener’s head. Whether whistling along to “Purist Tourist,” chanting to the refrain of “Thieves of Kailua” or joining in the hymn-like a-cappella of the album closer, “Hula-Bye,” the music is created to be loved and enjoyed by all.
It took Jason three years of writing, recording and mixing in his bedroom studio, affectionately entitled “The Cabana,” to complete The Thieves of Kailua, and although the only hand in the record is Jason’s, the record feels larger than life. The Thieves of Kailua’s place in modern independent pop music is much bigger as well. Set apart from anything else out right now, the record is as much a ukulele-powered, Hawaiian island action adventure story as it is a love story to life and love itself. The record was born from a trip with Jason’s future-wife to Hawaii a few years back and draws much of its story from those actual events. Stylistically inspired by the myths of old Hawaii, and informed by its modern reality, Thieves opens up a window to a fantastical paradise. The song-to-song narrative takes the listener across the great Pacific to a welcoming ancient land of beauty, spirit and love. Clouds roll in and the tourists get robbed, good prevails and they fall in love underneath a palm tree.
The Thieves of Kailua is one of the most unique musical experiences you can find in pop music today. It is as beautiful and catching as the islands themselves and you’ll find yourself exploring it again and again.
Publicity: Contact Jessica at Pitch Perfect PR
Booking Info: Contact Mike at MillPond
Promo materials: bio, and hi-rez artwork available from the Mill Pond promo page.