Their music is barely acquainted with modernity yet always seems to sound fresh.
Lou Thomas 2010
The Bees are quite an odd band. Not in any self-conscious or grating fashion, but in the way their music is barely acquainted with modernity yet always seems to sound fresh. From the opener on Every Step’s a Yes, lead single I Really Need Love, it's impossible to feel any anger or resentment towards this fourth album from the Isle of Wight crew.
After all, "Don’t you just love it when you open your window in spring / don’t you know you love it when the sunshine falls in," is a superb couplet that wouldn't sound out of place on Love's Forever Changes. The music that accompanies the lines is just as heart-warming. Speedy acoustic strumming, Paul Butler's joyous croon: it's enough to make listeners think the UK had a proper summer this year.
Winter Rose is entirely different. Trumpet-inflected reggae crossed with more than a hint of clanging underwater dub? Great stuff. Third song in and there's another change in tack. This time Fleet Foxes are invoked, albeit by way of Simon & Garfunkel. Things get just as wistful for Tired of Loving, which recalls the unfussy melodic wonder of Turin Brakes’ underrated Jackinabox album. Meanwhile, there's some zither-heavy fun with Pressure Make Me Lazy and a scuzzy but loveable closer in Gaia which recalls the band's own breakout cover of Os Mutantes' A Minha Menina.
The cumulative effect of hearing this album reinforces its makers’ songwriting ability (previously cemented on three excellent LPs, particularly 2007's Octopus), but also suggests a new peer group of bands. In 2010 Best Coast, Beach House and Wild Nothing have released beautiful collections made for the emotional and physical wilderness, but which also work as perfect listening for city living. Every Step’s a Yes is a worthy partner to those band's records.