As someone who had never delved into the back catalogue of Brooklyn two-piece She Keeps Bees, I certainly wasn’t expecting the sparse, sultry, brooding bluesy rock that spreads across the 12 tracks of the duo’s third album, Dig On.
Upon reading the praise rewarded by many for second album, Nests, I can conclude that the band have not developed their sound drastically but have carried on in such a way that appears to welcome the ‘sexy Cat Power/PJ Harvery’ references awarded previously. Dig On itself covers no new ground musically, but is a welcome addition to the roster of modern blues records provided by many a Jack White project and the Black Keys – although distinctly different and with more restraint than either.
The highlights of the album were the moments that allow singer Jessica Larrabee to her vocals and her lyrics stand-alone and be appreciated. A brilliant example of this is present in the short, closing number, Burn. At first singing accapella before being accompanied by the sparsest of beats from musical partner Andy LaPlant, Larrabee almost challenges you to try and forget her warm, secure vocals and her well-spun tales. Resistance, in this instance, is futile; after giving the album the time and attention it deserves, you’ll be swearing allegiance.
Words: Frankie Ward