On September 16th, She Keeps Bees will release their latest album, Eight Houses, via Future Gods. For the follow-up to 2011’s Dig On, Jessica Larrabee and Andy LaPlant recruited friend and fellow Brooklynite Sharon Van Etten to appear on several album tracks. With Van Etten’s steady presence, the duo’s intense blues rock sound has been decidedly softened, with newfound levels of warmth and depth on cuts like “Owl” and “Is What It Is”. Though she doesn’t actually appear on this latest track, Van Etten’s folksy ways still permeate “Radiance”.
Despite its name, “Radiance” is not a glittering rock number, but instead a smoldering one. Its glow comes like warm reds and oranges breaking the haze, just as the song’s subtle organ notes push up through the heavy drums. It’s all an instrumental echo to Larrabee’s opening coo: “Eternal bloom of the dawn/spirals from the Earth to the heart.” There’s a beautiful haunt on the track, with Larrabee’s impeccable bluesy vocals riding on “sun-given rays” that guide the “great oceans swell” of piano chords.
Press for Eight Houses promises rupturing riffs and rattling rhythms, but what “Radiance” shows more than anything is how masterfully She Keeps Bees manage deceptively gentle emotional forces. Listen in below.