The Bees – Free The Bees

Pure pop perfectionists have got a ticket to Ryde and they don't care

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Aaron Fletcher and Paul Butler could be the Isle Of Wight’s answer to Steely Dan. Super-smart aural designers, well versed in vinyl history, the duo made their debut album, 2003’s Sunshine Hit Me, in a shed. Now they benefit from immersion in Abbey Road studios.

The glorious US Charlatans-styled “Wash In The Rain” is destined to be a TV loop theme, and there are irresistible catches everywhere else. Fletcher’s lyrical skill and Butler’s bewildering range of bespoke vocals allow The Bees room to stretch. “Go Karts” and “The Start” manage to suggest echoes of Pink Floyd, The Young Rascals and Smokey Robinson with no apparent contradictions. As satisfying as it is stylish, this already sounds like a great summer guitar album?one that combines English pastoral moods with south-coast psychedelia.


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