Broken Social Scene
For numerous indie bands, Bee Hives, recorded between Broken Social Scene's cerebral debut, Feel Good Lost, and its pop-friendly follow-up, You Forgot It in People, would be a masterstroke. But for these Canadians, still glowing from last year's breakout success, it's simply a stretch of sometimes enchanting songs recorded with the ease and playfulness that come with downtime.
If anything, Bee Hives is the connective tissue between their two proper albums, a cohesion of the former's dulcet eight-track experiments and the latter's wistful melodies. Leslie Feist sings lead vocals on "Lover's Spit," a rerecorded version of a track on You Forgot It in People that opens with spare piano and is even more tugging than the original. BSS contributor Emily Haines soft-pedals her way through the airy "Backyards," adding to the serenity created by the unlikely pairing of synthesizers and banjo. All of the songs, particularly the laid-back electro-acoustic "Market Fresh" and the programmed pulse of "Hhallmark," are a smooth counterpoint to the guitar rock that tempered the last album.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.