Experimental Philadelphia trio SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE has recently delivered a new EP titled i’m so lucky. The four-track project was released in full on September 1st via Saddle Creek; two of the songs “tapeworm” and “natural devotion 2” have been available since Aug. 1st. Despite only lasting 11 minutes, the EP delivers a wild sonic experience.
SPIRIT’s eclectic range of sounds seems to feature an endless amount of different instruments. The EP’s opening track “human debenture” begins with calm lo-fi synth keys, and quickly progresses into a King Krule-esque drum and electric guitar arrangement. Zack Schwartz provides lead vocals on track, which start subtly but soon enough become shouts as the instrumentation filters through waves of noise. “really happening” includes many short vocal fragments; some of eerie children’s voices and some from obscure vocalists. Schwartz’s rhythmic vocal delivery feels slightly aggressive and rough, as he gives the offputting advice to “let the kid take a hit if he has to.” The following chorus sends the rest of the song into a lighter, ethereal direction with soft cymbals and dreamy guitars and synths backing the phrase “is this really happening?” Bassist and songwriter Rivka Ravede provides vocals alongside Schwartz on the track’s latter half, driving home its blurry soundscape.
The EP takes a dark and scary turn with “tapeworm,” easily the loudest and most in-your-face song on i’m so lucky. The transition between “really happening” and “tapeworm” is also very oddly abrupt; for a short EP with such fluency in creating a sonic atmosphere, it is surprising that one song simply cuts off, but maybe that’s the point. SPIRIT closes their madness with “natural devotion 2,” which begins with retro-sounding, warbly synth keys and a creative vocal chop that reverberates and echoes on for multiple seconds. It’s the most accessible and pleasant track from the project, already becoming the more popular of the two pre-released songs on Spotify.
Ravede and Schwartz share lead vocals for the final song, trading verses and sharing the final section. The duo deliver the lyrics “in the stillness I’ll remember how you held me when we were together” as the song’s final line, which reflects the real-life scenario of their recent breakup after 10 years of dating. “I don’t know if anybody was sure we would continue doing the band,” Schwartz admitted in a press release for the EP. Lyrics throughout “natural devotion 2” hint at the split, painting it as an agonizing situation and difficult conclusion to come to.
The trio released a music video including “tapeworm” and “natural devotion 2” upon the two songs’ release in August. SPIRIT will also be playing a sold out show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Tickets are still available for their Arden Gild Hall on Saturday, September 9th; more information can be found here. Their EP i’m so lucky is available for streaming and purchase now.