no, it’s not a place in russia

Let’s get it out of the way, first thing, because it’s going to be the comparison that everyone makes: Jessica Larrabee is Chan Marshall’s vocal doppleganger. Now that we’ve addressed the obvious, we can move on and sing further praises.

Larrabee, performing as She Keeps Bees, has put out a fantastic album titled Minisink Hotel. Kicking off with the lo-fi ass-kicker “Stand Where I Can See You”, it’s immediately clear that this lady can stop you in your tracks with her voice alone. “Lucille” is much in the same vein, with a good mix of hollow drums and distorted vocals.

“Cage Match” features a dreamy guitar line with broken-hearted vocals, while “Fangs” and “Arm’s Length” keep things going along for the album’s first half.

Ambient thunderstorm sounds mark a bit of a turn for the album’s second half, featuring more diversity with folky vocal harmonies, bells, and an organ accompaniment that compliments the acoustic guitar and Larrabee’s smoldering voice.

The last three tracks of the record form a near-perfect ending. “Mercury” lets in a new softness and vulnerability in Larrabee’s voice that has not yet been heard on the record, while in the opening line of “Two Thousand Lights” she claims “I’ve lost two thousand years / my soul’s been around, been around…” and one can’t help but believe it. The album closes with “Revival”, a waltz with a haunting, distant piano and heavy kick drum and hand claps that is easy on the ears but assaults the soul.

To find out more about She Keeps Bees and Minisink Hotel, check out the website here.

2 thoughts on “no, it’s not a place in russia

  1. Anonymous May 25, 2007 / 4:00 pm

    Also worth noting:
    – the album was recorded in her crown heights brooklyn apartment.
    – new york’s “L Magazine” recently listed she keeps bees as one of the 8 new york bands to watch.
    – they just returned from a tour with the love story that hit the east, south east, canada, and a bit of the midwest.
    – there’s also a rumor they may begin work on a (limited pressing?) 7″ of new songs.
    – physically she’s also easily mistaken for chan as well.

    And I’m totally writing this while laying on her floor in brooklyn, try to stay cool.

  2. Anonymous May 25, 2007 / 5:14 pm

    you get a gold star for using the phrase “vocal doppleganger”. Magnificant.


    -kdart (forgot my blogger password again)

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