WXPN 88.5 Welcomes
The Spirit Of The Beehive
‘This Is Not A Safe Place’ sees the rejuvenated Oxford four piece reunite with revered DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, who was on production duties for 2017’s ‘Weather Diaries’. Rekindling that creative partnership has once again seen Ride push their sound forward, as hypnotic rhythms and washes of lush guitars come together with leftfield electronic influences. The combination creates a sound rich in their trademark shoegaze atmosphere, whilst simultaneously sounding fresh and creatively ambitious.
‘Future Love’ is the first song to be unveiled from ‘This Is Not A Safe Place’. An unguarded, gloriously optimistic song, ‘Future Love’ brings together many of Ride’s best loved elements. Layers of guitars’ chime and drone, as the Oxford quartet effortlessly meld shoegazing dynamics, melodic psychedelia with their distinctive Transatlantic harmonies. It’s a song steeped in the heady haze of the start of a relationship, when anything seems possible, and one that’s sure to strike a chord as the shimmering start of the summer comes into view.
Following the successful release and hectic touring schedule from ‘Weather Diaries’, the band gathered influences from sources such as the Jean Michel Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican, and the post punk sound of The Fall and Sonic Youth, to make an album which contains echoes of their earliest days as a band, while bringing these elements into 2019. ‘This Is Not A Safe Place’ came together in a matter of weeks at the end of 2018, and start of 2019, the sound of a band embracing their new found creativity and rejuvenated dynamic. The record also sees Ride reunite with sound engineer Alan Moulder, who is on mixing duties for this fourth Ride record, following ‘Weather Diaries’, ‘Going Blank Again’ and their debut 1990 album ‘Nowhere’ (an album whose artwork is wonderfully echoed on the newly revealed cover of ‘This Is Not A Safe Place’).
One of the leading lights of the early 90’s shoegaze scene, Ride reformed in 2014, releasing their first album in over 20 years in 2017. ‘Weather Diaries’ was greeted by a raft of critical and commercial acclaim, reaching number 11 in the UK album charts. It also saw Ride reunited with Wichita Records’ Dick Green and Mark Bowen, who worked with the band during their early years on Creation Records. Ride play MOTH Club tonight, a show that sold out in less than two minutes. They will also be playing two huge shows with The Cure this summer in Dublin in Athens, and are about to embark on a South American tour.
Ride are Andy Bell, Mark Gardener, Laurence Colbert, and Steve Queralt.
The Spirit Of The Beehive
The Spirit of the Beehive have a fascination with contrast. The cover of their 2015 EP YOU ARE ARRIVED (but you’ve been cheated) juxtaposes the rare beauty of an urban sewer canal during sunset, with a washed-up body of a young woman sprawled peacefully beside some floating trash. The album that followed, 2017’s pleasure suck, explored the sick irony of pain brought on from overindulging in bliss. Its first track featured the line, “pleasure sucks the life out of everyone,” and the record’s erratic nature—spontaneous shifts from flowery psych-pop into dissonant passages of grimy distortion—evoked the discordant effect frequent substance use has on one’s psyche.
Hypnic Jerks, the Philly quintet’s third full-length and second for Tiny Engines, sounds like, as frontman Zack Schwartz puts it, “the state between wakefulness and sleep.” It’s named after the involuntary muscle spasms that can happen right as someone begins dozing off, a perfect feeling to compare the album’s drowsy yet restless character to. Unlike the spiraling momentum of pleasure suck, The Spirit of the Beehive took a more grounded approach with Hypnic Jerks, though the ground they’re standing on is equally otherworldly. Dreamy is a fitting adjective, but the songs never fully slip into the peaceful yet backgrounded character of dream-pop.