The story of Girls in Hawaii has gone to some dark places in since the formation of the band in 2001 by Antoine Wielemans and Lionel Vancauwenberghe in 2001. They released their debut, From Here to There in 2004, but came dangerously close to getting burned out whilst touring its follow-up.

The title of Plan Your Escape became a self-fulfilling prophecy for the band - a quartet comprised of two sets of siblings, completed by Antoine's brother Denis and Lionel's brother Brice. They were looking for a way out; they took time off, and Denis started a hip-hop side-project called Hallo Kosmo. Then, he was killed in a car crash on the way home from a gig in 2010, and the band almost collapsed.

Antoine seemingly couldn't carry on, but it was through his songs that the band found the strength to reconvene for Everest, a deeply personal, yet not necessarily downbeat, album that deals with loss, its aftermath and - most importantly - the will to live.

It seems miraculous that Girls in Hawaii are still a functioning band. The trauma of losing their drummer in such circumstances - and this after everything else - would have broken lesser bands - but they're still going, and their new album is, for the most part, quietly introspective, with a few bursts of energy in between. It opens on a subdued note with the rumbling samples and gentle warmth of 'The Spring', welcoming the listener back into the band's world after five years away.

Their world has changed, which is why most of the new material is more reflective in tone and slower-paced than what's come before, but the unexpectedly joyous and overtly poppy 'We Are the Living' flies in the face of the album's overall feel, and would come across as jarring if it didn't blend so well into the effortless beauty of 'Changes Will Be Lost'. This is an album that swaps the eclecticism of their previous album for a more singular approach; even the most uplifting moments, like the propulsive six-minute track 'Switzerland', whose driving beat and epic scope show that the band have taken strides to progress in other areas as well.

The album's themes are broad, certainly, but there are songs like 'Here I Belong' and 'Missing' which directly address the album's tragic backstory; there's little in the way of over-the-top emoting on this album, with Antoine expressing himself in a much more reserved manner, opting for a more hushed and nuanced delivery where others would go all out.

Everest reaches its peak on the dazzling centrepiece 'Mallory's Heights', on which the band take inspiration from the story of the two British mountaineers who attempted to scale Everest in 1924, but vanished just 300 metres from the summit, and in doing so deliver one of the finest moments of their career to date. It's a poignant and buoyant moment on an album that is otherwise full of introspection and emotional honesty, one on which the band take things in a markedly different direction than that which people may have expected them to take.

Then again, without an unexpected incident, who's to say what Girls in Hawaii's latest album could have turned out? They've channelled those feelings which Denis's death evoked to make something particularly surprising. Three years ago, it looked like they didn't have a future; with Everest, they've proved everyone wrong - including themselves.