Portland-based indie-rock duo Bees in a Bottle drop their new long player, The Sun Left and Took The Moon With It, an exploration of the consequences for the women who survive famous male musicians who died by suicide or addiction.
The concept behind the album is that there is a rippling effect to traumatic loss, an effect both real and mutable, yet rarely touched upon because the effect is blotted out by the mythological narrative enveloping the rock god.
Made up of Christine and Chad McAllister, originally from Philly, Bees in a Bottle released Quiet Room, in 2013, followed by an EP, entitled Heartsleeve. At that point, the band moved to Portland, where they dropped Treasures Ugly and Few.
Encompassing 10 tracks, the album begins with “Wet Widow,” rolling out on thumping, almost dirge-like percussion, as low-slung murky guitars provide dark leitmotifs. Christine’s voice conjures up elegiac tones, akin to an austere requiem.
Entry points include “You Alone,” with its delicate, shadowy coloration accented by gleaming elements. At once plaintive and evocative, Christine’s cashmere voice imbues the lyrics with delicious timbres.
Christine explains, “This track is the internal conversation of a woman who’s left her partner after watching him self-destruct constantly for years. She gets the news second-hand that he’s taken his life.”
Vaguely reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac, “Jealous Mistress” rides a contagious rhythm topped by Christine’s country-lite-flavored vocals. Shimmering guitars juxtaposed against the fat roll of the bassline give the tune a vibrant duality.
A persona favorite, “Magnetic” is both haunting and suppressed, projecting an eerie, quasi-religious invocation conveyed by Christine’s dreamy, bewitching tones.
“Guess I thought that / I was more attractive / Thought that I could / Keep you from this.”
Drenched in melancholic hues, The Sun Left and Took The Moon With It is a gorgeously wrought, unforgettable album.