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We Brave Bee Stings and All

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Editors’ Notes

It’s inevitable that Thao (Nguyen) may be compared to Cat Power: both have unusual voices, able to conjure soulful chanteuses in smoky backrooms, delicately growling indie-folk discontent, or the aching mewl of the freshly wounded. On Thao’s second album, We Brave Bee Stings and All, the feel is one of childlike playfulness, with skipping, lighthearted arrangements belying the more somber content of her lyrics. Put on Bee Stings, produced by Tucker Martine (Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens), and enjoy the finger-snapping, banjos and trombones. “Beat (Health, Life and Fire)” opens the album with punchy, acoustic guitars and a marching snare drum, while Thao’s lilting vocals trill like a songbird about betrayal and disappointment.  “Bag of Hammers” is utterly charming, replete with tongue-clucking and maracas, serving to delay the revelation of the narrator’s intent with the subject at hand. Thao has a talented band on board, adding the expected as well as the unexpected (Wurlitzer piano, Hammond B3 organ, Marxaphone, melodica and more) to her own piano and guitar playing, and giving her songs a lively, full sound with varied textures. Her cover of The Beatles’ “You Really Got a Hold On Me” is languid and lovely, an ethereal pleasure.

Customer Reviews


this is a beautiful record -- words fail, but thao's words don't fail her... love and loss, but life's still okay. you have to hear this album!!

Best Female Artist I've Heard in a While

Her voice and lyrics are incredible, set up against a catchy musical background. Spectacular music.

Just plain good

This is a phenomenal album from start to finish. I'm not the type to leave a review, but after listening to this album on repeat for the past month and not getting sick of it, I decided to break the seal and throw out my sincerest props.

We Brave Bee Stings and All, Thao
View In iTunes

Customer Ratings