Band Name: Persephone’s Bees
Album Name: Notes from the Underworld
Best Element: Bizarre ideas…that work
Label Name: Sony
Band E-mail: n/a
Like all the very best pop bands, Persephone’s Bees presents a cocktail of many seemingly incongruous ingredients. Take “On the Earth,” which appears late in the album. The song is a mash-up of spiky new wave guitar, breathy nonsensical chants, hard glam-rock flourishes, and background vocals reminiscent of the Beach Boys. Then it all fades out for a few seconds and stumbles back in for a final attack. It’s such a mess that I’m not sure it could even really be qualified as a song, yet it’s still poppy and catchy. Somehow.
Although “On the Earth” is the most experimental song on the album, it sums up Underworld’s charm nicely. It’s the kind of record you can’t stop listening to because you don’t know what’s coming up next: “Fernando”-style Abba melodies (“Even Though I’m Fooling Around”), Russian new-wave/folk (“Muzika Dlya Fil’ma”), 60’s psychedelic pop (the heavenly chorus of lead single “Nice Day”).
The majority of the credit must go to Russian-born lead singer Angelina Moysov, who lends the songs an icy playfulness and American guitarist Tom Ayres, who supplies a healthy dose of rock pomp and pop smarts. On paper it shouldn’t work, but that’s precisely how great pop albums are born. B+
Key Tracks: Nice Day, On The Earth, Climbing