‘sparse, soulful and defiantly retro’ – The Guardian
Now, whilst waiting for a new, full-length follow-up, we take the time to (re-)introduce a raw rocking gem: ‘Nests’, the band’s first album as a duo, recorded in 2008 in their Brooklyn apartment, subsequent record to the rather obscure debut ‘Minisink Hotel’ (2006) – ‘the best album you’ve never heard’ (Other Music NY) and precursor to third album ‘Dig On’ (2011) ‘an album of fire, spirit and sweat’ (BBC Review).
To celebrate this re-release, She Keeps Bees dive back into their pure, soulful, live rawness, performing a little, yet mighty tour of Europe this December. A long time coming perhaps, but definitely worth the wait.
MORE ABOUT ‘NESTS’:
If bassless rocking boy-girl duos is a phenomenon some critics have turned into a genre of its own, then ‘Nests’ is one of the most outstanding recordings in this field. If you’re into garagey blues-rock, delivered with a raw and soulful vocal, ‘Nests’ is a must have.
For the European CD release of ‘Nests’ in 2009, many came up with too obvious, hasty comparisons, from The Kills, to White Stripes, but these miss the point. She Keeps Bees have their own, unique, captivating character to explore.
The duo is the brainchild of a truly exceptional singer, Jessica Larrabee. ‘she has one of the best voices I have ever heard and she has more soul in one finger than most female singers have in our scene’ claims Sharon van Etten, and she’s right.
Moreover, ‘Nests’ transformed She Keeps Bees for the first time into a duo stage act. Andy LaPlant, who met Jessica while she was working on the folkier, largely acoustic debut ‘Minisink Hotel’, helped mainly on the recording side. However, on ‘Nests’, as well as taking care of the recording, Andy performed at the drum kit. The music turning louder, more aggressive.
‘Nests’ became a document of She Keeps Bees growing together in music and in partnership. Jessica’s first instrument was drums, Andys was guitar. They were learning from each other. Jessica wrote the songs as they recorded. They were after a true honest raw performance, most of it recorded live, entirely in their Brooklyn apartment in 2008. ‘Nests’ is just this snapshot moment.
From there the duo developed further in their own vein and dynamic, through the denser ‘Dig On’ (2011) recorded in a mountain cabin and the levitating ‘Eight Houses’ (2014), their first ‘real’ studio album, plus new recordings yet to be released. If you want to know where this all really starts, get ‘Nests’. You may appreciate how the surroundings and settings for the band influence their album making process, producing these snapshots.
‘It was this raw dynamic which made debut album, ‘Nests’, stomp your attention into submission with Larrabee powering and purring away. There was force and frustration. It’s an album driven by the snarl of the city streets, fighting for every square inch of its embattled escape from NYC’s confines. You could feel the clamour in Larrabee’s vocal as she willed and wailed to dominant effect’ (BBC review)
Besides the two more obvious hit songs from ‘Nests’, ‘Gimmie’ and ‘Release’, the album is a 27-minute long slow grower. Dense, no frills, no filler.
30/11/16 BE – Brussel, Ancienne Belgique (Autumn Falls)
*02/12/16 : UK – London, Moth Club
*03/12/16 : FR – Paris, Pop Up Du Label
04/12/16 : GER – Münster, Gleis 22
*05/12/16 : GER – Berlin, Grüner Salon
06/12/16 : GER – Mainz, Schonschön
07/12/16 : CH – Geneva, La Gravière
08/12/16 : CH – Fribourg, Nouveau Monde
09/12/16 : CH – Basel, Parterre
10/12/16 : CH – Zurich, Bogen F
*Exclusive ltd. vinyl + ticket bundles purchasable: here
Available on regular black vinyl with download code, plus, limited edition version (green vinyl, different artwork, extra pictures / lyrics inlays / code for access to bonus material) purchasable as a bundle with ticket, for selected release concerts or, via pre-order from label website (while supplies last).