Canadian twin sisters; Romy and Sari Lightman hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia and play guitar and mandolin on this another advent garde export from a country that just keeps giving us great innovative artists. On this their official debut they’re also joined by good friend Amber Phelps-Bonderoff on Viola to add a little more depth to their stripped down sound (having once been a large folk troupe, now whittled down to just two, she sometimes also accompanies them on tour). Their music is best described as haunting folk, in a similar vein to Marrisa Nadler, Coco Rosie and Joanna Newsom. In fact at first glance it would be very easy to dismiss Ghost Bees as just another ‘soundalike’ artist. And you’d be right to think so, the elements of medieval folk are gently combined with fascinating lyrics and sound like they could fit onto ‘Ys’ with ease. Normally this would be a bad thing, to be so easily compared to such a prolific artist as Joanna Newsom, but with her work being so individual and the Ghost Bees being such accomplished musical group it works incredibly well. It retains all the elements that made ‘Ys’ a great album whilst adding enough to make it just a little different. Songs such as ‘Sinai’ and ‘Vampires of the west coast’ have all the key elements to keep you coming back to them; strong engrossing lyrics, beautiful harmonies that get carried on a wave of soft strings and an overall feeling that consumes you wrapping you in a timeless blanket of sound. Complete escapism that can whisk you away from the drudgery of every day life into a world where mythical creatures and Gods hang around on every street corner, pedaling natural, organic drugs that give you an ultimate high without any of the next day repercussions. Like that feeling you used to get watching ‘Labyrinth’ or ‘Return to Oz’ when you were younger. Magical Stuff.
For Fans Of: Joanna Newsom, Final Fantasy, Laura Barrett
Links: MySpace, Downloads
Video: Vampires of the west coast (Live)