Paul Butler and Aaron Fletcher are The Bees, hailing from the Isle of Wight. Sunshine Hit Me
was recorded in Butler's parents' shed ... true!
Both key Bees members are multi-instrumentalists, and both share a huge array of diverse influences. For instance, the songs on this debut album range from comedown chill-out, through to reggae mixed with Beach Boys, on to "A Minha Menina", a Brazillian/Portugese folk song.
Reggae mixed with Beach Boys? "No Trophy" is my pick of the pops, the song from this set that most consistently sends chills down my spine. Firstly, it's such a happy tune ... the reggae rhythm combines well with the vocals, which also have reggae inflections. During the first part of the song (a fairly simple song it is too), the harmonies consist of reggae-styled humming, very beautiful the humming is too. However, right at the end of the song, there's something absolutely lovely ... we will defend your bed tonight
they sing, as the song fades. I can't exactly describe the sound or effect of this, but it's a perfect way to close the song.
For fans of The Kinks album Muswell Hillbillies
, "Binnel Bay" captures something of the mood of that record, without sounding like an obvious homage. Again, this is a song with fantastic vocal harmonies. That then leads into some kind of psychedelic instrumental titled "Sunshine". This album has it all, it really does. The even more impressive thing for an album such as this, with a variety of styles, is how seamlessly all the songs flow one into the other.
There are quite a few other moments of loveliness - the sweet mellow groove of "This Town" is the kind of tune perfect for listening to on the train after a difficult day at work. It's a perfect day and "This Town" makes me feel all lovely inside. Then there's the sad-sounding "Lying in the Snow", another song of breath-taking beauty.
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews