[6 November 2006]
Inara George and Greg Kurstin, the musicians behind The Bird and the Bee, have a storied musical past: Kurstin, a qualified jazz pianist and producer/composer for artists like The Flaming Lips, Peaches and Lily Allen; George, a solid and pure-sounding vocalist, released a debut album All Rise last year. Again and Again and Again and Again, a teaser EP for their upcoming debut, is short and genre-establishing; think gorgeous melody (acoustic guitars, tinges of electronics) and soft, innocent female vocal. Sound familiar? Au Revoir Simone’s one recent touchpoint, though the Bird and the Bee are more West Coast—all innocence and sunny optimism. “Again & Again”, the best song on the album, pulls an unexpected, jumping melody that stays with you, over peppy acoustic strums. In general, expect well-conceived, pretty constructions of pop songs—it’s not a revelation, but it’s enough. The Peaches remix of “F*cking Boyfriend” rocks electro hard, and it’s crunchy, current and incessantly re-inventing (a light tom beat gives way to synth-sirens to heavy-metal disco sounds in the course of a few seconds). But the remix hardly fits with the band’s innocence turned on its head; Peaches has made it all sleaze (surprise, surprise). The band’s supporting Sia in New York later this month, and the pairing’s appropriate; both bands search for, and sometimes achieve, a breathy treble transcendence.