Drawn From Bees are an incredibly talented four-piece art-rock outfit that hails from Brisbane’s musically vibrant Fortitude Valley. Since their formation in 2008, Drawn From Bees have drawn much critical acclaim, in regards to their tender harmonisation and intricate sonical craftsmanship of contemporary rock. If you're unfamiliar with Drawn From Bees, then just think of a sonic mix of Crowded House, Dappled Cities and The Editors. Songs you may be familiar with are 'Long Tooth Setting Sun', 'Run Away' and 'Of Walls And Teeth'.

The May King & His Paper Crown is the latest offering from the gents, an LP that is the result of a 12 month production process in which the band has decided to approach the record in a completely new way, trading some of their string elements for ghostly synths, and constructing the record around the themes of love, loss, murder, betrayal and the fleetingness of youthful hope. These themes are reflected in the title, and as physics will ascertain, a paper crown burns easy, whilst viewers of Game Of Thrones will know that a king can only hold his power for a short time – the month of May.

There is a seismic shift in the soundscape of The May King & His Paper Crown, compared to their earlier offerings. It's as if all the elements that define Drawn From Bees have been given a shot of the liquid injected into Jason Statham in Crank, and they are all now performing at the peak of their prowess. The guitarwork in the tracks 'Take All Mine' and 'Eliza' will quickly sweep through your mind's eye and elevate your inner ear, sending it soaring at a stadium level. Singer Dan James' transcendental vocal harmonies shine in the tracks 'Whistling Bone' and 'Ella Got Dead', acting as a sort of ethereal guide, taking you as the listener through a moody and hyper-stylised nether world of intense bouts of emotion. The percussion elements throughout 'The Ballad Of Running Bear' and 'Loungeroom Poltergeist' pulsate with vigor and intensity, not unlike the heart of a banshee.

It's hard (with such a high level of quality) to pick standout tracks, but I do have to say that 'Whistling Bone', with it's Blaze Of Glory-esque intro and choral backing, as well as 'The Well Draws No Water' are both great indications as to the tone of the rest of the album. There is dynamic vocal play reminiscent of Neil and Tim Finn, hauntingly windswept sonic tundra’s, absolutely rocketing guitar riffs and strong piano-driven verses interspersing the walls of layered percussion.

With The May King And His Paper Crown, Drawn From Bees have released an album akin to a Mumford & Sons record, in that every songs lives together, yet stands alone. This is the sort of style of music that exists in a realm whose name I may have just coined, prog-folk-art-rock (it certainly is a mouthful). The thing that perhaps best surmises this niche genre has to be its chameleonic nature; this is the sort of music that can be transmuted to suit any environment it is experienced in; be it the back room of a beachside hotel, kicking it on the festival circuit, as ambient background noise, or being blasted out of arena speakers.

All in all, Drawn From Bees have delivered just what was expected from them, another high quality aural experience. Get amongst it.
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