The Bees – Sunshine Hit Me (Deluxe Edition) (2002/2023)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:01:41 minutes | 674 MB | Genre: Indie Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © [PIAS] Recordings Catalogue
Released originally by Wall of Sound sublabel We Love You in 2002, ‘Sunshine Hit Me’ was recorded and produced by founding members Paul Butler and Aaron Fletcher in a home garden studio – aka The Shed – on the Isle of Wight, and went on to receive a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize, 2003. Singles from the album include “No Trophy”, “Punchbag”, and a cover of Os Mutantes’ “A Minha Menina”.
Remastered at Electric Mastering in 2023, this new vinyl reissue marks the album’s first ever repress and will be available as a limited edition ‘mask’ blue coloured vinyl, matching the album’s iconic cover.
This limited vinyl will also contain a download code for two bonus dub tracks.
A newly curated, expanded 1CD will also be released. This will feature 6 bonus tracks, including a previously unreleased song, “Seeds”.
The Bees prance around the same psychedelic pop themes and tones of the Beta Band on Sunshine Hit Me. But somehow they take things to a whole other level, as their familiarity with vintage instruments and addictive laid-back swagger help them avoid the pretension that sometimes follows the Beta Band. Where the Isle of Wight duo’s peers might name-check the Beach Boys, the Bees simply use them as a subtle starting point. Gentle harmonies mix perfectly with ornate horns that seem straight off a Stereolab album. It’s hard to say what’s more compelling about the great “Punchbag”: Is it the lyric “I’m too much for caged monkeys” or the utterly warped beat that shuffles back on itself like a stoned boxer? The Bees don’t linger in one musical genre like so many neo-psychedelic bands. Instead, they perfect one style and then move on to another, and somehow it all fits together perfectly. The lazy throwback jazz of “Angryman” fits snugly alongside the sublime, wobbly dub of “No Trophy.” The latter really is stunning, sounding as if it were recorded in the heart of Jamaica rather than on a semi-desolate island. “A Minha Menina” (an Os Mutantes cover) gives the White Stripes a run for their money, as dollops of mad blues energy and a fuzzy guitar beg for inclusion on some future Nuggets compilation. The final five tracks are surprising in their adherence to mellow dynamics, showing that the Bees are wholly confident to end their debut with peaceful pianos, somber organs, muted trumpets, and a general sense of serenity. “Zia” is even reminiscent of contemporary slow-drip songs from Lambchop, only without the irony. The Bees emerge as true masters of atmosphere with the swirling, delightful Sunshine Hit Me. – Tim DiGravina
01. The Bees – Punchbag (03:38)
02. The Bees – Angryman (04:06)
03. The Bees – No Trophy (03:25)
04. The Bees – Binnel Bay (02:58)
05. The Bees – Sunshine (03:27)
06. The Bees – A Minha Menina (02:48)
07. The Bees – This Town (02:59)
08. The Bees – Sweet Like A Champion (04:27)
09. The Bees – Lying In The Snow (03:53)
10. The Bees – Zia (04:11)
11. The Bees – Sky Holds The Sun (03:42)
12. The Bees – Seeds (03:01)
13. The Bees – You Got To Leave (04:11)
14. The Bees – Elain (03:09)
15. The Bees – Whistle Chop (04:02)
16. The Bees – Jackel Head (03:52)
17. The Bees – Out For The Count (03:44)