Steve Gates A Bee In Her Mouth

Steve Gates A Bee In Her Mouth
Steve Gates has jacked up the rustic vibe for his first solo release. The vocalist/guitarist from adventurous, ECMA-nominated folk rock band Caledonia leans hard towards a more acoustic sound on A Bee In Her Mouth. It's a slow-burner of an album that weaves inviting guitar lines through rootsy arrangements. Presaged by a well-received four-song EP last fall, the album is laidback but upbeat. Lyrically, it moves through emotional extremes, from the outraged "Godforsaken" to the intensely romantic "Lost Balloons," but frequently strikes a balance, tempering criticism with humour, as on the acid-tongued "Keepin' People Out." The most immediately gripping tune is "Bright Blue Candy Suns," a swaying, dreamy number kissed with lap steel and sweet falsetto lead vocals. With a long list of Haligonian musicians playing on the album, including Rose Cousins and Jenn Grant on backing vocals, this is yet another first-rate offering from Halifax's outstanding folk and roots scene. (Black Guillemot)