The Bird & the Bee: Recreational Love (Album Review)

No one does pop better than The Bird & the Bee. Inara George and co. make a very welcome return with the July 17th release of their new album, Recreational Love. You can stream the entire album via Spotify below.

“Young and Dumb” opens the album with The Bird & the Bee’s unmistakablly signature, insanely catchy indie-pop sound with a nice piano flourish at the end.

“Doctor” is a clever satire on our modern pill-popping culture with the refrain “Doctor give me pills or give me love.” The B&B take their cybered 80s nostalgia to a new level with some E Street sax embellishments.

The Office Spacesque video for “Will You Dance?” (see below) features comedian Patton Oswald and The Big Bang Theory‘s Simon Helberg.

The moody undercurrent of “We’re Coming to You” makes it the standout track.

Recreational Love ends with the lovely lullaby “Lovey Dovey.”

Buy @ Amazon

The Bird & the Bee Official Site

Priscilla Ahn: When You Grow Up

Priscilla Ahn’s new album, When You Grow Up, will be released by Blue Note Records on May 3rd. Featuring songwriting collaborations with Sia, Eleni Mandell and Inara George, When You Grow Up is a lovely little album full of romantic ballads and retro girl pop numbers. Lyrically, the album explores the theme of growth (hence the title) throughout the ups and downs of life and love. Musically, it’s just very, very pretty.

“Oo La La” has a similar retro-influenced girl pop sound as The Living Sisters and, sure enough, it was co-written with Eleni Mandell. I found myself singing along halfway through the first catchy chorus.

The atmospheric ballad “City Lights (Pretty Lights)” was co-penned by The Bird & The Bee‘s Inara George.

“I Don’t Have Time for Love” is a sentimental, sappy and wonderfully gooey love song.

“Empty House” is haunting, melancholy melody reminiscent of songs on Vienna Teng’s Dreaming Through The Noise. Priscilla’s warm voice often reminds of Vienna’s.

The album includes a cover of the Benji Hughes song “Vibe So Hot.” And “Torch Song” is the gorgeous, aptly titled finale.

You can download a free, legal mp3 of the album’s title track at Priscilla’s website.


Priscilla Ahn Official Site

Giveaway: Win The Bird & The Bee’s New CD!

Contest Closed

Muruch and Filter Magazine are giving away a copy of The Bird & The Bee’s new CD Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates. You can read my review by clicking here and the contest details below.

The Prize:

One U.S. winner will receive:
1 copy of The Bird & The Bee’s new CD Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates

The Rules:

Comment to this entry with the name of your favorite guilty pleasure artist or your favorite cover (or both) and your email address. All new comments are moderated to avoid spam (which is why you must include the required text in your comment), so it may take a day for your comment to appear if you haven’t commented on Muruch before.

Note: This contest is only open to U.S. residents, and all contestants must enter with a valid email address and the name of the artist in order to qualify. The winner of the contest will also be required to provide me with their full name and postal address for shipping purposes.

The Deadline:

The contest will end on Friday, March 26th. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email.

Go now go! And tell others.

Album Review

Buy @ Amazon

The Bird & The Bee Official Site
The Bird & The Bee MySpace

The Bird & The Bee: Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates

The Bird & The Bee’s new album Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates will be released by Blue Note Records on March 23rd. The Bird & The Bee are singer Inara George and multi-instrumentalist/producer Greg Kurstin. Their tribute to 1980s pop icons Hall & Oates is no parody, instead this is a sincere and happy homage to one of my favorite guilty pleasure bands.

The opener “Heard It On The Radio” is the sole original on the album. Considering the concept, I think the song should have been placed at the end of the album. Regardless, the airy pop tune does go very well with the covers.

The selection of Hall & Oates covers includes pop hits like “I Can’t Go For That,” “Kiss On My List,” and “Maneater” (feat. Garbage’s Shirley Manson on backing vocals), but it’s the inclusion of “Rich Girl,” “Sara Smile,” and “She’s Gone” that proves the band’s songwriting talents were worthy of tribute.

“Sara Smile” has always been my personal favorite Hall & Oates song, and The Bird & The Bee do a superb job of capturing the sultry jazz tone of the original. And the clap happy true-to-original take of “Private Eyes” reminds me why the song was such a big radio hit in the ’80s.

As I said in my review of last year’s Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future, Inara George “possesses a lovely, effervescent voice that melts beautifully into the lightest of melodies.” While these are genuine odes to Hall & Oates, most of the songs have been reworked in The Bird & The Bee’s signature electro-pop style.

The Bird & The Bee’s Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates is the perfect soundtrack for summer. I only hope that The Bird & The Bee will record a tribute to Olivia Newton-John for Interpreting The Masters Volume 2.

I was not granted permission to share an mp3, but you’ll be able to hear samples at the links below closer to the release date…

Buy @ Amazon

The Bird & The Bee Official Site
The Bird & The Bee MySpace

The Living Sisters: Love To Live

The Living Sisters are a new band composed of Eleni Mandell, The Bird & The Bee’s Inara George, and Lavender Diamond’s Becky Stark. The group’s debut album will be released March 30th and features the trio singing pretty vintage pop melodies.

“How Are You Doing” blends Andrews Sisters harmonies with an AM radio light twang. The girls croon sweetly on the doo-wop tunes “Ferris Wheel” and “You Make Me Blue.”

“Cradle” puts a sultry spin on a gentle Patti Page vocal style. “Good Ole Wagon” reminds me of She & Him‘s retro-influenced indie sound, but “Hold Back” is pure Eleni Mandell.

“The Mountain Has Skies” reaches the lofty heights of Judy Collins’ angelic soprano. The handclap pop ditty “Double Knots” is the catchiest track on the album.

As I posted before, you can download a free mp3 of the album’s title track by signing up for the band’s email list here.

The Living Sisters – Double Knot (mp3 removed) *

*mp3 provided by & posted w/ permission of Vanguard Records

Buy @ Amazon

The Living Sisters MySpace