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Bright Eyes

B'ehl

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Album Review

The first album by the half-boy, half-girl Winnipeg, Manitoba, quartet B'ehl sounds like a five-years-too-late entry in the twee pop explosion of the mid-'90s. The two female singers, acoustic guitarist Melanie Barnes and guitarist/pianist Allison Somers, have the requisite helium-pitched voices and blithe unconcern over subtleties of pitch, and all four play with more amateurish enthusiasm than heavy chops. Song titles include faux-naïf proclamations like "I'm Sorry for Being Such a Crappy Friend" and lyrics feature reveries about pink stars and Mies van der Rohe. It would all be unbearably cutesy but for the fact that Barnes and Somers are actually quite gifted songwriters, with a better than usual knack for catchy twee-pop melodies and lyrics that tend to be more acutely self-aware than ickily self-absorbed. The best tracks are the ballads, like the piano-based "This I Know," which recalls the more lyrical moments of the late Suddenly, Tammy! Bright Eyes will not change the mind of anyone averse to this style of indie pop, but it's a delightful find for fans of the genre.

Biography

Formed: 1994

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Winnepeg, Manitoba-based indie-pop quartet B'ehl was formed in 1994 by singers/guitarists Allison Shevernoha and Melanie Barnes, bassist Bob Somers (concurrently a member of the Bonaduces) and drummer Dan McCafferty (who split his time in Painted Thin). After opening for the likes of the Super Friendz, the Local Rabbits and Nerdy Girl, B'ehl signed to the local Endearing label to record their 1997 debut LP Only a Paper Moon; soon after the album's release, McCafferty left the line-up, with...
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Bright Eyes, B'ehl
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