“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is one half of awesome Brooklyn duo She Keeps Bees who have a first new album out in four years. “Kinship” (out now on BB*Island) is built on rolling toms and melancholic vibes, the power of restraint and depth of emotion. Dealing with death, birth and the predicaments of the Earth, the strikingly rich voice of Jessica Larrabee is one to be treasured, and we’re delighted Jessica has joined us to share an unearthed gem!
But first, here’s the mellifluent magnificence of title track “Kinship”…
Since 2014’s “Eight Houses” LP, Larrabee cared for then lost her father before moving upstate with partner/bandmate Andy LaPlant to a New York cottage to start their own family. With such tumultuous life changes (not to mention the global turbulence) there’s been a wealth of evocative influence to draw on.
In more pastoral, meditative environs, they wrote and recorded “Kinship” over five months, joined by mates from Last Good Tooth and inspired not only by their experiences but also on the track “Coyote” by activist folk singer Katie Lee who vocally opposed the damming of the Colorado River.
She Keeps Bees are all about the nature, and Larrabee is all about love… and it’s no surprise that her “song for ewe” choice is deeply personal (nestled as it is among a cherished family archive). So without further ado, here is Jessica’s “song for ewe”…
“I have a cassette mixtape my Grandpa Larrabee made of songs he loved from his collection of old 78s. Andy uploaded it to soundcloud and it’s been so much fun to share. Makes me teary eyed but happy to listen to this collection, since he passed away two years ago. These songs give me such beautiful feelings because he would sing some of these to me as a child.
One in particular I remember fondly,” I’ll Get By (As Long As I Have You)”. He had a lovely voice and absolutely loved music. Always sang a few lines if he was reminded of a song. He was a writer, so lyrics and a good play on words gave him such a kick. Now that I have a baby daughter, I like to sing songs like “I’ll Get By” to her, makes me think perhaps my beloved Grandpa is there with us listening too. There are many versions of “I’ll Get By” but the mixtape has it by The Andrew Sisters — 7:09 on side B. “
(if you’d like to listen to more of Grandpa Larrabee’s 78s collection, here’s side A of the playlist)
(and here’s the whole lot together should you really fancy immersing yourself)
THANKS TO JESSICA LARRABEE AND TO SEAN NEWSHAM
“Kinship” is out now, check the link out for more deets: