Release Date: Nov 8, 2011
Record label: ATO
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Neo-Psychedelia
For American fans, the Bees are something of a cruel enigma. First of all, there was already a Bees, so the Bees over here are called a Band of Bees, which is apparently confounding to iTunes but easily fixed on iPods. The Bees have never played live in America, so while fans in the UK have had ample opportunities to hear the Isle of Wight band’s skewed melting pot melodies up close and personal, the best we’ve gotten are a handful of sorta cruddy videos which might as well be that old Sasquatch footage for all it purports to reveal.
Since their debut album, A Band of Bees have enjoyed commercial success (literally) while garnering mixed critical reviews. Their fourth album, Every Step’s a Yes, will likely continue the trend. The album has several catchy tracks readymade for use in other media, notably the bossa nova closer “Gaia” and the sunny, upbeat opener “I Really Need Love.” On “Silver Line,” they pleasingly channel Simon and Garfunkel, and the rest of the album continues the band’s penchant for recycling ’60s and ’70s rock and folk.
Three years since their last album, and has anyone really noticed that The Bees haven’t been around? Not to be cruel to the Isle Of Wight retro-popsters, but they exist in that world where you know the songs without ever really connecting with who sings them to such an extent, that they become almost anonymous. They’re not The Bees, but 'the band that does that chicken song' or the 'band who covered 'A Minha Menina”. A band that have soundtracked a few adverts, played some storming gigs half way up a festival bill and supported some fairly big names.
I wouldn't say that A Band of Bees (or as they're known everywhere but the U.S., the Bees) have ever been an aggressive band, but their modern takes on psychedelia have often had a fair amount of thump to them. Their last album, 2007's Octopus, got downright funky in places, and their reggae flourishes have always seemed to stem from an actual appreciation for the genre rather than some association with stoner culture. Their 2002 cover of Os Mutantes' "A Minha Menina" is about as ragged as they've ever been.
For The Bees’ latest album, Every Step’s a Yes, the group saw recording as a chance at a fresh start. It isn’t that they shouldn’t be proud of their previous releases — 2005’s Free the Bees and 2007’s Octopus — it’s just they had to work their way up to a more solidified, confident form of songwriting. “It’s like starting all over again, only now we’ve got loads of fans and people who love us.
While having been out for a year across the pond, the fourth album by British psych-folk band A Band of Bees (The Bees, overseas) couldn’t have been released stateside at a more appropriate time. Every Step’s a Yes rolls and blows like autumn wind through 10 tracks, highlighting the band’s strength in mellow atmosphere and harmony at most turns. Evoking the longing of the softer moments of American band Grizzly Bear, especially on songs like “Island Love Letter” and “Tired of Loving”, A Band of Bees seduce with augmented, jazzy guitar play and syncopated rhythms, sounding tight as hell as a group of performers, if not a tiny bit directionless at times as songwriters.
The fourth album by Isle of Wight, U. K. natives The Bees (or A Band of Bees as they are known in the U.
Their music is barely acquainted with modernity yet always seems to sound fresh. Lou Thomas 2010 The Bees are quite an odd band. Not in any self-conscious or grating fashion, but in the way their music is barely acquainted with modernity yet always seems to sound fresh. From the opener on Every Step’s a Yes, lead single I Really Need Love, it's impossible to feel any anger or resentment towards this fourth album from the Isle of Wight crew.