Mouthful of Bees
Welcome to the age of post-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Happened pretty quick, didn’t it? Minneapolis’ Mouthful of Bees’ most obvious similarity to that band is singer Chris Farstad’s voice. It’s nearly a dead ringer for CYHSY’s Alec Ounsworth’s lilting mush-mouth with its pleading insistence. The influence continues through to the band’s songwriting and arrangement, with songs like the opener “The Now” and “Talking” full of wiry guitar lines and an equal parts bouncy/swaggering rhythm section. There’s an unstoppable summery exuberance in these tracks that sustains emotional uplift even when the band strays into low-key territory. The woozy “Jessica” and the subtle Brit-pop informed acoustic strum of “Airplane” show a band just as comfortable exercising restraint as they are with completely letting loose. Where the band finds its own voice is somewhere in the middle. The simple, but sturdy backing of drums and tambourine for “I Saw a Golden Light” gives just enough of a framework to hang minimal guitar melodies. The haphazard casualness running the length of this album is what gives it its strength. It’s never sloppy, but also never feels studied or forced. It’s young, vital and honest and in direct lineage to become your album of the summer.
Afternoon Records: www.afternoonrecords.com