Posted on: April 29, 2022 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0
Today’s album release follows the premiere of The Bees‘ title track yesterday via Under The Radar, who described it as “a true highlight from the record, characterized by Mercer’s distinctive vocal performance, rippling indie rock soundscapes, cryptic poeticism, and sprawling songwriting.” Carey Mercer offers some context for ‘The Bees’: “Once I slept outside in a place where a river flows into the open ocean. The low-lying topography makes this place vulnerable to tsunami waves, should an earthquake occur. At the top of the hill behind the river, there is an old dam with no seismic upgrades. This spot is about 40 kilometers from the Cascadia subduction zone. If an earthquake occurred, you might have a tsunami barreling in. You might also have a torrent of water and trees and concrete barreling down on you from the ruptured dam. I felt exhaustion lying there at the edge of the river. I had no automobile to get out. The song ‘The Bees’ is like stretching a piece of musical latex around the fear I was feeling. I was so tired from trying to get to this spot without an automobile. The safety plan was, if the dam burst, to just drive away. But what if you don’t have an automobile to drive? As I sing in this song: ‘Where is my guide?’ As I dealt with my panic by panicking, or panic-attacking, I thought to myself, ‘Why do I resist?'” 

Check out the lyric video below, crafted by frequent Frog Eyes collaborator Derek Janzen. Cover art for The Bees is by artist Janice Nowinski.
Frog Eyes recorded The Bees over four days: two days in March 2021 and two days in May 2021. They worked with musician, John Raham to engineer the album at Afterlife Studios. The result is ten songs that feel   expansive—taking the listener on a whirlwind adventure to meet the ghosts of Frog Eyes past, present, and future—each track possessing the tempo necessary to incite a room filled with people to move. Inertia has no place here. All the energy of previous Frog Eyes records resides in The Bees, with the track “I Was an Oligarch” a triumphant reclamation of a time when nineteen-year-olds wore white belts and cut the hems of their pants, all for the sake of being able to dance with utter abandonment. The minor-key spells for which Frog Eyes is known are on full display in the track “Scottish Wine” and the return to what they know best is found most clearly in reclaiming their name back, as Mercer notes wryly, “can you ever really sound like anything but yourselves?”

If you haven’t already, make sure to order The Bees on limited-edition orchid vinyl while supplies last, and if you’re in Vancouver, get your tickets for Frog Eyes’ release show on May 13th at China Cloud.

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