Formed in 2015 by longtime friends, Jake Pappas [vocals, guitar], Jesse “Bumper” Dorman [drums], Jared Slaybaugh [bass, vocals], and Matt Gillen [keyboards, synths], HAWAI built a loyal following from their 2016 debut EP, Working All Night, where the tracks cumulatively totaled 1 million Spotify streams. The band took a hiatus to focus on their personal lives as some members had babies and got married. As the band’s main songwriter, Pappas continued writing during the time off and started putting together what would become the band’s follow-up EP, Hide in the Ocean. The first single “I’m Not Dead” shows the evolution and exploration into adulthood. “The concept is to go to somewhere that’s completely undiscoverable,” Pappas explains. “The ocean is 70% of the earth’s surface, but it’s uncharted. The theme is wanting company in this unknown place. We’re hiding there together.”

Hawaii took a moment to talk about their time away and to talk about Hide in the Ocean, plus Jake performed “I’m Not Dead” acoustic. Check it out: