Drawn From Bees: The May King And His Paper Crown
- Drawn From Bees rose up in that great surge of indie-pop bands a few years ago, the mighty hype of which Vampire Weekend was crowned king. Some Brisbane bands have done pretty well out of that sound: Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Last Dinosaurs or Ball Park Music. Drawn From Bees, a lot like The Boat People a bit before them, didn't experience immediate success, but kept plugging away and became, really, very good at their craft. To do them justice too, their sound isn't exactly like any of those other bands I've mentioned. Listening to their 2010 album Don't Fear The Footsteps Of The Departed, it had a soaring, pure, country-pop sound that'd go a round or two with The Eagles, or say, Band Of Horses, thanks to front-guy Dan James' high-flying voice. Gotta say that, although it wasn't always this way, right now I'm about as interested in Band Of Horses as I am in trying to stand on my own crotch. Maybe that's a little harsh, but perhaps also it's a good thing Drawn From Bees have been moving away from the country thing. Latest release The May King And His Paper Crown - once again out on the band's own label, Bonefinger, home to them and them alone - is still indie-rock-pop that's heading for the sky. Opener Eliza really does show off Dan James' vocal talents. In fact I don't know if it is possible for the whole band to become any more polished than this without blinding their entire audience. I'm not calling them over-produced either: Drawn From Bees simply have exemplary musicianship and songcraft. I dunno, with bands that make a sound that seems like it should crossover and hasn't, you get the nagging feeling that you should be judging their commercial success as much as their artistic one - or maybe trying not to talk about it. How long are you guys gonna be in that holding pattern? I'm pretty certain that the local commercial types sniffed them a while back and, for whatever reason, failed to become interested. Where does that leave Drawn From Bees? Making highly accomplished indie-rock-pop, whoever's listening to it. Maybe you should give it a go, you might just hear something the public at large has been missing.
- Chris Cobcroft.