The Spirit of the Beehive
By Nic Sanderson
Philadelphia act The Spirit of the Beehive proficiently and lovingly blend the sort of traditional western melodicism we’ve come to know and love with an expansive palette of timbres from amorphously crunchy guitars to dreamy ambience to bright, pronounced keyboards. On their self-titled album, tracks like opener “Roll Over” and “Don’t” produce a lush, soothing density with melodies transmitted through to give their progressions incidental direction. The vocals of “Roll Over” express a sense of loss and longing supported by wistful trails of mid tempo strumming. Another standout track, “White Weekend” builds in intensity throughout from atmospheric arpeggiation swirling over paper thin vocals to a perpetually chugging drum part that injects enough frenzied and jerky energy to transport the song to a crashing, chaotic conclusion. While transitioning, the track rehashes fragments of earlier melodies that remind the listener that this is still in fact, the same song. And all in under five minutes, no less. Despite their eclecticism, The Spirit of the Beehive consistently use enough hums, whirs, buzzes and ‘50s sci-fi sound effects to compose depth and atmosphere without overrunning the songs themselves. The Sprit of the Beehive tastefully balances all their various tones, moods and expressions to keep their listeners constantly guessing and frequently pleasantly surprised.