She Keeps Bees – ‘Eight Houses’

The Brooklyn duo plough the same material as on their back catalogue but come off sounding distant

Brooklyn duo She Keeps Bees peddle a reliable indie-rock take on the blues, played with a stripped-down guitar/drums set-up. Their albums to date – ‘Eight Houses’ is their fourth – have remained accessible, the see-sawing riffs on 2009’s ‘Nests’ in particular. No personal meltdowns, reinventions or challenges to the status quo are apparent on ‘Eight Houses’. Sharon Van Etten guests on ‘Owl’ and ‘Is What It Is’, while ‘Radiance’ is powered by electric piano and hints at Fleetwood Mac’s slickness. Mostly, though, Jessica Larrabee and Andy LaPlant mine their established PJ Harvey-with-sanded-edges groove, and for all the lyrical emotional weight – ”Be not completely consumed/Do not surrender” (‘Is What It Is’) – it feels distant and phoned in.

Noel Gardner

Details

Record label: BB Island
Release date: 22 Sep, 2014