She Keeps Bees: Eight Houses

review bees x1 cong

She Keeps Bees play rootsy, stripped down music that’s somewhere between indie and blues. The songs are mostly led by Jessica Larrabee’s soulful voice; they’re from Brooklyn but there’s a swampy aroma of Louisiana about this.

Apparently the duo’s previous albums had a loud/quiet thing going on, and while this is lacking here they still do louder bits: Breezy starts quietly but has powerful sections that make a fair noise.

Both Sides would be a monstrously loud blues song if they didn’t keep things under control, while Burning Bowl is much gentler.

We played this a lot ahead of the release date and really enjoyed it, but now we’re being critical it’s hard to pin down why it’s so good: it’s just the overall sound. It’s warm and cosy while being loud in places. Larrabee’s voice is warming and draws you into the music. It’s bluesy and smoky while being razor sharp at the same time.

A cult band maybe but a band that you’ll love if you get it.

Incidentally, this has been done before: an album called Come Get Some we got back in 2003 from SE Willis, a lovely, swampy blues album from a woman with a remarkable voice. From memory she worked in a bookshop so her slightly feral music was tempered by good manners. An excellent album if you can still find it (it came out on 679).

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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