She Keeps Bees is a duo from Brooklyn, NY, consisting of singer guitarist Jessica Larrabee and drummer/producer Andy LaPlant. They have self-recorded and released music made at home since 2006. Their debut album, Minisink Hotel, was described by NYC’s Other Music as “the best album you’ve never heard." Nests, their second full-length, was admired by the Guardian as “sparse, soulful and defiantly retro.” Their third LP, Dig On, was praised by the BBC as "an album of fire, spirit, and sweat."
Their most recent and fourth album, Eight Houses, released in late 2014 through BB*Island and produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Wye Oak, Deerhunter, The War On Drugs, Dirty Projectors) was highly praised internationally 'Hitherto visceral New York duo discover and deploy the power of subtlety.. In all, a fiery triumph' (Mojo Magazine).
The band is currently working for a follow-up, due in spring 2019. In summer 2017 She Keeps Bees, who "has never shied away from engaging directly, unrelentingly, with the darkest sides of politics and social justice" (NPR Music)took a stance with the new single "Our Bodies"/"Head Of Steak"
Jessica Larrabee, born in Washington DC, has been a self-taught singer, drummer, guitarist, and performer since childhood. The daughter of an R&B drummer and a delightfully eccentric DC party girl, Jessica has attitude to spare. After being in bands for most of her young-adulthood, Jessica moved to Brooklyn--from Philadelphia--in 2003, to start her solo career. She bar-tended for a few years while writing the songs that would eventually become later-days She Keeps Bees. Her early music was marked by a stark earnestness, drawing comparisons to Jason Molina and early Cat Power.
The duo formed in 2006, while Larrabee was doing bedroom recordings for a first album as a solo artist under the name She Keeps Bees ("bees" coming from her surname) She met guitarist LaPlant,-who had just moved to Brooklyn from NewOrleans -at the bar she was working. He soon helped to produce her music and started attending her shows, until she suggested he play with her. After a few drum lessons from Jess, Andy learned to keep up, and they have been recording, performing, and living together since 2006.
With the addition of drums full-time, their sound evolved into a louder, more aggressive style, making room for Jessica to hone in her earthy howl. They have self-produced / released four records as a band since forming and have toured both the US and UK/Europe Their debut album, Minisink Hotel, was described by NYC’s Other Music as “the best album you’ve never heard. Nests, their second full-length, was admired by the Guardian as “sparse, soulful and defiantly retro.” Their third LP, Dig On, was praised by the BBC as "an album of fire, spirit, and sweat."
Their most recent and fourth album, Eight Houses, released in late 2014 through BB*Island and produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Wye Oak, Deerhunter, The War On Drugs, Dirty Projectors) was highly praised internationally 'Hitherto visceral New York duo discover and deploy the power of subtlety.. In all, a fiery triumph' (Mojo Magazine)
Slowly but surely public takes notice of She Keeps Bees and the originality of Jessica Larrabee. The New York Times compared her to PJ Harvey, but added that "far from Ms. Harvey's theatrical poise, Ms Larrabee is loose, vehement and unchoreographed" Drowned in Sound said of Larrabee that "she has amazing control over her vocals, able to simultaneously be fiery and reserved, seductive and vaguely crude." Fellow Brooklyn musician Sharon van Etten said "she has one of the best voices I have ever heard and she has more soul in one finger than most female singers have in our scene."
Since located in New York Larabee also showed a certain interest in electronica. She has lent her vocals to some underground electronica/house productions, e.g.. as Jessica Elle for Tech house hit „Thrill Of Love“ by Levon Vincent and she has been guest vocalist on Groove Armada's Grammy-nominated album Black Light. Just recently Dutch DJ Producers Redondo & Bolier landed a deep house summer hit with Every Single Peace, based completely, on their song „Owl“ from Eight Houses (although little in common with the original She Keeps Bees atmosphere).
End of 2016 BB*Island commemorated the 10th year of their existence as a band with a re-issue of Nests, first time on vinyl (in two editions) and the duo have been back for a few intimate concerts in Europe to celebrate the release.
Since 2014’s acclaimed Eight Houses, Larrabee cared for and lost her father before moving upstate with LaPlant to a New York cottage with a plan to start their own family. In this new, solitary and natural environment, they kept writing and recording new material. 2017 saw the release of the two track “Our Bodies” and “Head Of Steak” and longer tour through the US with Benjamin Booker.
Back home, starting winter 2017 they wrote and slowly recorded Kinship over five months, joined by friends Kevin Sullivan (Last Good Tooth) on bass, Penn Sultan (Last Good Tooth) for guitar, and Eric Maltz, who lent strings, synthesizers and piano.
Kinship arrives May 10 2019 through BB*Island and for the US through Ba Da Bing. A meditative and endlessly turning clutch of songs, the album reasserts the band's elegant power.