Thao Nguyen’s new album We Brave Bee Stings And All will be a guaranteed refreshing rush of new music when it hits shelves January 29 on Kill Rock Stars. Thao has all of the qualities that make for a superb performing artist and a likable folk pop record that every indie fan can get with. Her voice can clearly be described as a mix of Beth Orton, Cat Power and Laura Veirs all bundled into one bright upbeat gentle pitch, which is inviting and engaging. The perkiness and bouncy feeling that comes from We Brave Bee Stings can not hide Thao’s sophisticated songs that paint pictures of difficulties in life that gives the album a realism that can sometimes be hard to find in artists work. Now don’t think the album is nothing but her sappily strumming the acoustic guitar because, more than not, Thao is rocking out with hand claps, like on “Feet Along” or providing sing along melodies that stick with you, such as in the first single “Bag Of Hammers”. Thao really does not hold anything back and leaves no room for you to not foot tap along to each memorable track. The mixture of strong song quality and Nguyen’s lighthearted approach makes We Brave Bee Stings And All the new release to check out this month and it has the catchiness to hang around in my iPod all year long!
Key Tracks: “Bag Of Hammers” / “Swimming Pools” / “Feet Asleep”
Artists With Similar Fire: Laura Veirs / Mary Timony / Cat Power
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony