She Keeps Bees - Nests

Will Metcalfe 14/07/2009

Rating: 4.5/5

There is something irrevocably likeable about She Keeps Bees; a blend of early Cat Power, PJ Harvey and delta blues traditions are interwoven effortlessly. Jessica Larrabee's vocals meander through the indifferent percussion of Andy LaPlant, whilst battling ailing guitars and honey rich vocals.

The balmy beauty of My Last Nerve is at odds with the somewhat sweetened Release - a moment which sees the sweet/sour aspects of the record collide head on before falling to the back porch for a drink and smoke. Everything about this record is basic but far from sounding half done Nests is a record that sounds both comfortable and accomplished in it's approach and whilst it might be basic it's far from the wiry minimalism of early PJ Harvey.

You Can Tell is a well built beauty throwing back to Moon Pix era Chan Marshall - honey drizzled vocals, repetition and an underlying sense of…well, doom. She Keeps Bees are something of a treasure - usually the term 'Americana' strikes fear deep into the heart yet here the southern fried progressions are spun out on a broken frame without a Confederate banner in sight.

Nests is a record of beauty; it's succinct, it's lazy and it's brilliant for it. For those of you mourning the 'clean up' of Cat Power don't worry too much, it seems Mother Earth has been growing a new generation of filthy, broken songstresses just for us…and you know what? If self doubt always sounds like this then maybe the doctors should lay off the valium, y'know?

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