New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Kainalu and MUNYA Team Up on a Breezy Pop Confection

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a bit about the Southern California-born, Madison,WI--based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, Trent Prall, best known for his solo recording project Kainalu, which derives its name for the Hawaiian word for ocean wave. Prall’s work draws from psych pop, psych rock, dream pop, Tropicalia, synth pop and funk, as well as his childhood trips to Oahu, HI visiting his mother’s family, coalescing in a breezy and nostalgia-including sound that Prall has dubbed “Hawaii-fi.” He further developed and expanded upon his sound with the release of his full-length debut Lotus Gate.

Interestingly, over that same period of time, I wound up writing a bit about the Quebec-born and-based classically trained pianist, opera vocalist, electronic pop producer, electronic music producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, best known for her solo recording project MUNYA. Now, as you may recall, as the story goes, Boivin had only written one song when she was asked to perform at 2017’s Pop Montreal Festival. Ironically, at the time, she never intended to pursue music full-time but after playing the festival, she realized that she was meant to be a musician.

Boivin quit her day job, moved in with her sister and turned their kitchen into a home recording studio, where she wrote every day. Those recordings would eventually become part of an EP trilogy that she named after significant places in her life. The Quebec-based JOVM mainstay’s self-released debut EP North Hatley derived its name from one of her favorite villages in her home province. Her second EP, 2018’s Delmano, which was released through Fat Possum Records derives its name from Williamsburg Brooklyn’s Hotel Delmano.

Blue Pine EP, the third and most recent EP of Boivin’s trilogy derives its name for the Blue Pine Mountains in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks — and continues the trilogy’s overall theme of EP’s being named for a significant place in Boivin’s life. The EP trilogy was then combined for the self-titled physical release.

The pair of JOVM mainstays have collaborated on the breezy and infectious “You Never Let Go.” Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, stuttering beats, Boivin’s plaintive and ethereal vocals and an enormous hook — and while revealing some easy-going yet, ambitious, hook-driven songwriting, the song is a swooning and seamless synthesis of the their individual sounds and aesthetics.

“Josie (Munya) and I met through the Spotify algorithm,” Prall explained in an email to me.”We both admire each other’s music and so we started messaging online and sending ideas back and forth until the song happened. Both of us are self-producing multi-instrumentalists, and so building a track together was very fluid and came easy. After about a week we had the song completed.”