Released in June 2014, Nā Pua Mōhala is a collaborative folk album from Honolulu-based duo Kupaoa and Japanese Hawaiian act Kaulana. With their warm mix of traditional Hawaiian folk and original songs, Kellen and Līhau Hannahs Paik of Kupaoa have steadily built a following on their native islands and beyond since making their debut in 2008. In 2013 alone, the prolific couple released both their fourth album and their first EP before teaming up with Japanese trio Kaulana, whose 2012 album Ohana helped them become the first ever international group to win Hawaii's prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano award. Forming a unique multicultural partnership, the two groups have put together an enchanting collection of songs that utilize their united ensemble's rich vocal blend, employing gentle slack key guitars, bright ukuleles, bass, and sung entirely in traditional Hawaiian. Hawaiian music has always had a worldwide audience, but in Japan especially, its cultural influence has become firmly entrenched with hundreds of Hawaiian-themed bands and hula dancers honoring the Islands' pull. With Nā Pua Mōhala, these talented trans-Pacific neighbors have found a way to celebrate as one.
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger