This latest release from She Keeps Bees is set to be my favourite album of the week, that might give away how this review’s going to go, so sorry I spoiled it for you.
Although before writing this review and listening to this album I’d never heard of She Keeps Bees I still feel like I’ve heard it before, not in a bad ‘Wow this sounds like everything else around at the moment’ way, but in more of a ‘this is so hooky I can sing along on the first listen’ kind of way.
The singer Jessica Larrabee has a great smoky soulful voice, reminiscent of artists like Fiona Apple, but with a more guitar driven backing. In fact, if Fiona Apple stood in for Jack White in the White Stripes, it’d sound like this, and not just because it’s a guitar and vocals plus a drummer affair.
The ‘Stripes comparison might be an easy one to make, but it’s what you’ll notice on the first listen, especially on album opener ‘Gimmie’ which, for all of you family fun lovers, also includes the line “Give it to me daddy/work me like my back ain’t got no bone”. Incidentally, I’m not into incest, I’m just saying if you are, this song might present an added bonus for you.
This album is super-stripped back, raw simple production, but it all still sounds quite polished. The guitars and drums are pretty simple but provide a good rhythm, sure there aren’t any five minute solos, much to my dismay, but it works. The vocals are easy to hear, which, with such great lyrics throughout the album, is for the best. They’re occasionally doubled up for a bit of added harmony, but are always at the front, just being supported rather than overtaken by the instruments.
For a great hit of simple sing along pseudo-rock, without any irony or over the top mumbo-jumbo, you could do a lot worse than to check out She Keeps Bees, I defy you not to like it.