She Keeps Bees are a little 2-piece from Brooklyn consisting of Jessica Larrabee and Andy Laplant, but don’t be fooled by their size, the band should really be set for big things. With this EP, Revival, we hear exactly what these guys are about- simple stripped down bluesy genius. And stripped down/ simple bluesy genius just so happens to be my favourite kind of genius. There’s just something about a band that have the power to blow away an audience with a single vocal, a guitar and some drums that gets to me.
Lets start with the voice- because there’s no getting away from it, it’s what makes the listener swoon. Jessica’s vocals has been compared to the likes of Nina Simone, Cat Power, Patti Smith and even Layne Staley- her mix of grit and soul make her perfect for telling stories through songs. And that she does on this EP, starting off with ‘Gimmie’ which sways around like a lazy (but uber cool) biker in Memphis. Following this smooth intro we come to ‘Release’ which manages to hypnotise you, just a bit, with a tambourine (impressive). This builds up a good momentum with Andy Laplant subtly introducing the drums, which slowly push their way through towards the end. ‘Pile up’ starts with vocals over a heartbeat drum beat which eventually runs into more complex and catchy moments. Finally ‘Revival’ brings it on home with a piano to haunt alongside Jessica’s voice.
Overall I’m a little bit in love with these two and look forward to checking out their album Nests, from what I’ve heard it’s a beauty, but apparently not as good as seeing them live. Unfortunately the duo are back on USA soil at the mo, but keep an eye out for them touring in England in the future, from what I’ve heard they should not be missed.
Words: Kat Nicholls