Following the release of COLD BEATS Worms/Year 5772 EP via bandleader HANNAH LEW’s (GRASS WIDOW) Crime on the Moon imprint, Over Me is the Bay Area act’s debut album. Propulsive and taut performances from guitarist KYLE KING and drummer BIANCA SPARTA (ERASE ERRATA) bely Lew’s glassy vocal melodies. A cathartic album, Lew sourced difficult personal experiences to create an immersive lyrical world sometimes fraught with paranoia, anxiety and impending doom, and also an exploration of hope and imagination—themes felt ever more acutely by a native San Franciscan artist in the midst of tech boom cataclysm once again. Over Me was recorded by PHIL MANLEY at Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco, and mixed and mastered by MIKEY YOUNG in Australia. As a Crime on the Moon release, a percentage of sales benefit Charity: Water, an organization committed to eliminating privation in developing nations.
A meditation on the duality of identity, “Mirror” rides tear-drop guitar leads into a buoyant chorus, then cascades mightily towards an exalted outro. It is the first of three album tracks to receive music videos created by Lew. Elsewhere, the menacing “UV” couples fetishistic imagery with instrumental vigor, while the dystopian subject matter in “Out of Time” finds Lew’s vocals entwined in the sky, on a swift ascent to space with only glistening notes in their wake. Seething with circuitous anxieties, even teetering at times towards terror, Over Me ultimately marvels in the face of staggering unknowns.
the spirit of the beehive.
The Spirit Of The Beehive’s self-titled debut is the kind of murky, densely layered record that is richly rewarding on repeat listens, and one that deserves a much wider audience than it has right now. The Philadelphia band has crafted an album that chooses to stay in the shadows, a storm cloud overhead and with no light in view. It oscillates between moments of beautiful, unbearable vulnerability and a tarnished ambience that slides towards tightly-packed noise, and it’s at its best when both of those things happen simultaneously.
Myrrias’ first album reveals the band as an ensemble in the strictest sense. We’re often drawn to bands despite—or indeed because of—the drama of conflicting personalities (from Paul and John to Lou and Nico). A quartet from Philadelphia, Myrrias work instead as a living, breathing whole. Try to hone in on the stony, measured alto of keyboardist Mikele Edwards and your attention is quickly split as guitarist April Harkansan’s Soprano hovers in the near distance. Whereas many new bands suffer from a propensity to over-play, Myrrias patiently build layers of intertwined rhythms and melodies, with no one member pulling for the spotlight. The vocals have room to float because drummer Casey Bell and bassist Emily Robb forge a primal, driving bedrock while simultaneously carving out enough room to complement—not overshadow—the group’s high-end shimmer.
Such discipline stems from years of collective experience. The band formed when Edwards (of Arc in Round) sought like-minded musicians for a new project. Coming from sonically divergent bands, each musician nonetheless had to be a perfect fit for the whole. April Harkansan (Downtown Club) generates a wash of warm, delayed guitar over Edwards’ honeyed but never saccharine synth landscapes. Drummer Casey Bell’s (Break It Up) primary mode is the primal minimalism of Maureen Tucker punctuated with moments of controlled abandon. A late-60s garage-rock traditionalist, bassist Emily Robb (Lantern) adds a plodding mid-range growl, alternately soulful and menacing. Combined, the band form a collage of synth-driven dream-pop and the somber, cinematic side of the 60s avant-garde.
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