singer/lyricist Julee Bee working in an area all their own that’s, nonetheless, audibly influenced by an assortment of time-tested approaches and more specific influences. Their debut album Find Us Where We’re Hiding serves notice that the duo are ready to stride confidently into the public arena with a complete artistic vision that few emerging acts ever possess. Find Us Where We’re Hiding often has a decidedly elegiac, melancholy air, but much of the album is likewise full of the energy we rightly expect from a fresh act eager to demonstrate their talents for the biggest possible audience. Their album Find Us Where We’re Hiding weaves strands of electronic music, ambient sound, pop, and rock with even a dash of acoustic sounds into a signature formula that’s powerful and full of potential for the future.
They never go overboard with the ambient touches; the opener “Boy in the Hood” features some of that penchant for ambient adornments, but in a moderate and tasteful manner. “Girl’s Trip” and the later song “Orange Vox” bring us the closest things to traditional musical moments that we’ll encounter on Find Us Where We’re Hiding, but are nevertheless infused with the distinctive personality that makes the entirety of the album come popping out of the speakers. The latter tune generates a lot of gentle forward motion, never pushing against listeners too hard, but always inexorable and Julee Bee delivers a fine lyric with the cool, confident voice of someone born to sing in this style. “Heaven Looks Alright” is another of the album’s vocal numbers and soars skyward on the back of another exceptional singing performance from Bee. Her writing for the album is an excellent match for the musical imagination arranger Harry Starbuck brings to the release.
“Angel”, the album’s penultimate tune, obscures and distorts vocals more than any other cut on Find Us Where We’re Hiding and probably rates as the most challenging listen on the release. Coming when it does, on the doorstep of the album’s conclusion, is a brave and audacious move on the duo’s half, but it’s also a vote of confidence in their target audience’s ability to handle such a curve ball so late in the album. “One Trick Pony” serves up a final surprise for listeners thanks to its comparatively uncomplicated approach and the insistent percussion standing out from the mix and giving it much of its distinctive sound. Bee turns in a final vocal for Find Us Where We’re Hiding that’s every bit what this fine album deserves for a closer and her singing underscores a lot of the song’s percussive qualities while bringing melody to the table as well. Let’s hope that this new duo enjoys all the success possible with this release and that it’s the first entry in a discography that will one day be a touchstone for future musicians. PHOSPHENES exhibit the sort of potential from a modern art rock/electronica act that I haven’t heard in years.
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