Monday, December 1, 2008

Reviews:: Ruby Jean & The Thoughtful Bees


It's hard not to stare. She's the best looking girl in the bar, dressed to the nines and part of you wonders why she's even here, trapped amongst the plaid shirts and scruff. But then the music starts and she’s in front of the speakers dancing without any regard for who's around her and that unabashed freedom and originality is the feeling you get as soon as Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees start playing.

It’s not surprising I guess; the dirty electro quartet is made up of regulars from the Halifax music scene, all of whom know what performing is all about. The programming and synths – which makes up the foundation of the songs – comes courtesy of Colin Crowell and is filled in nicely with Sean MacGillivray’s drumming and Jason Vautour’s guitar. The guitar blasts and heavy drums really give life to Crowell's beats and helps transform RJATTB from a MSTRKRFT-esque beat into an organic, breathing experience. Throw in the swirling vocals from Halifax song writer Rebekah Higgs – no stranger to vocal looping and subtle electronics herself – and you start to see why Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees is ready to be something bigger than just "another electronic act or yet another Bees band from Halifax."

Without a doubt, the self-titled debut is certain to be a regular on playlists at any indie dance night (Bones, I’m assuming you already play these jams), but like I said, it’s more than just club bangers. Sure the beat clap and synths of A Thoughtful Letter and the driving beat of You Don’t Miss Me are terrific, but it’s moments like when Higg’s vocals swirl around the rapid fire beats of Trustfund, the down tempo flow of Not About To or the subtle guitar pick that opens up the unique twist on the Paula Abdul classic, Cold Hearted that you start to realize how well thought out these tracks are. Higgs is enough of a personality to stand out from the mix, but seasoned enough to not overshadow the recipe Crowell, MacGillivray and Vatour craft.

Not to get all Footloose on you, but times are hard on the boulevard these days and more hangdog tracks of shit not working out just isn’t always the answer. Hearing RJATTB boom out of your headphones is just the thing to give you some pep in your step or jump start your evening when the temperatures start to plummet.

Posted at 2:13 PM by ack :: 3 comments

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At 1:17 AM, Anonymous marc xavier leblanc (aka bones) did sayeth:

you bet i've played Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees tunes on a regular basis at my ((IPN)) events! They're one of the best kept secrets of the east coast music scene. I'm sure once they release their first album at the beginning of next year that'll change everything and they'll blow up onto the national and international scene!!! They've played with me at 3 of my ((Indie Pop Night)) events in Moncton and Halifax and I've dj'ed with them at their latest gig in Fredericton. check out a few of the videos i shot of them on YouTube:

always in photo and music,

marc... aka bones... host and dj of ((Indie Pop Night)) events... moncton, fredericton, charlottetown and halifax


At 4:19 AM, Blogger KEEPS did sayeth:

I recently heard them on CBC and freaked!!!! I am living in BC now but am from Halifax...(driving home this summer) stoked to see this live!!!! I perform and teach dance for a living and would die to be in any video they produce.


At 11:54 PM, Blogger Michelle did sayeth:

Great review! I just saw them live last night for the second time. What a show those 4 put on! Such a great group of musicians. I was with two newbies to the band and they were instantly sold!

Hope to be hearing/seeing RJATTB for a long time to come!


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