Today, Bees consists of Ben Derickson, Chris Rosenau, Daniel Spack, Matt Skemp, and Marielle Allschwang—who have also helped shape the sounds of All Tiny Creatures (Derickson, Skemp), Group of the Altos (Spack, Allschwang), Hello Death, and The Visitations (Allschwang).
It was after a three-and-a-half-year hiatus that Rosenau, Derickson, Skemp, and Spack, in preparation for the Eaux Claires “Troix” Festival, asked Allschwang to lend vocals to the band for the first time.
They invented a pedal rig so Allschwang could link her voice to Rosenau’s guitar. Their pedals are connected and timed together, allowing them to create complex layers of rhythms and harmonies, a technique on full display in “Killerers” and the album’s title track, “HAWAII.”
“Ruins,” the first single off HAWAII, exemplifies the album’s fertile intersection of experimental and pop. Spack and Allschwang sing a duet that bears the album’s closest resemblance to a verse-chorus song format, before Bees suddenly submerge the listener into deep sub-bass tones and layers of exhalations.