Aina Haina - Second Best CD
We are happy to announce the new album from Portland, Oregon's Aina Haina - Second Best.
Portland’s Aina Haina (pronounced “Eye-na High-na”) traces it’s roots back to the South Pacific where members Mike Ailes and Dylan Magierek met while attending the University of Hawaii. Years later, they found their paths converging once again in Portland and immediately discovered that they still connected musically. This time around Magierek switched from bass to drums and they quickly wrote a handful of songs, coining the term “Power Duo” to describe their sound and lineup. Their first release, the self-titled Aina Haina, received positive reviews and won over tough critics like The Huffington Post – who premiered the band’s first video for the song, “I Can’t Feel You Anymore”. Their new seven song album entitled Second Best was released on June 28th, 2019.
Check out the video for "On the Way Off":
Though recording their debut moved briskly, the band found themselves struggling to complete their sophomore effort. “The songs were mostly completed about five years ago, soon after we released Aina Haina. However, Mike and I were each blessed with newborns, which along with a career change for Ailes caused the project to grind to a near halt” Magierek reveals. Frustration grew over the years of overdubs and edits required to shape their vision for the album. “There were times that we each just prayed that the album could be done. I felt like it was no longer a priority for us and began to resent the pace at which Mike would work at completing his parts. I think we both realized how different our styles of getting things accomplished were, and it was causing a lot of stress. I decided to take a hiatus from the project”, says Magierek.” Over the next several years Ailes continued to work on the album, mainly alone, - editing, writing lyrics, recording vocals, bass and additional guitar.
“I really struggled to find the right lyrics for these songs”, says Ailes. “The concepts for each song came quickly, but it took a lot or writing and re-writing the lyrics to get them to where I felt like they were supporting the songs to their full potential. Once a record is in the can, you’re stuck with the lyrics, and there’s nothing worse than being bothered by a word or phrase every time you listen to the song in the future.”
Eventually [Finally!], in late 2018 the band decided the album was finished.
It was a conscious effort to change up their sound on Second Best. Though their debut was mainly known for being a somewhat Hard Rock record, the band decided to delve into new territory this time around. Magierek opted for blending electronic drums with a live acoustic set. Keyboard pads were added so he could play synth parts live while remaining behind the drum kit. More layers were added to their Power Duo sound by adding vocal harmonies, drum machines and electronic keys. Ailes opted to record dedicated bass parts for the songs rather than play the Moog bass pedals with his feet as he had on the first record. “We decided this time around we’ll play out with an actual bass player. I’m already singing, playing guitar and doing a bunch of switching of guitar effects with my feet, so I’m looking forward to having one less thing to do on stage”, says Ailes. “There were times while writing this album that we felt like we were starting to sound like the band Metric. And that was a far cry from previously being told that we reminded folks of Bad Company or early U2,” explains Magierek.
There’s definitely more going on in Second Best, but they tried to keep the sound close enough to their originally written basic parts that they could still pull them off live.
Though the album is only seven songs long, it covers a lot of ground, from the electronic sound of “Barnacle Boy” to the Alt Rock “Don’t Need Your Love” and the whimsical garage rock vibe of “Garage Sale.” The songs are diverse, but there is an underpinning sound and vibe that holds the whole thing together.
“Badman Recording Co.’s label head Dylan Magierek, known for releasing albums from My Morning Jacket, Mark Kozelek and the innocence mission, now has his own power duo. And that duo’s opening EP Aina Haina is a testament to Magierek’s unfailing ear. Just as he understood what made other artists the best at what they did, he and guitarist/singer Mike Ailes know how to bring out the best in what they do.” – iTunes
You can get order it digitally through iTunes: