Bird and the Bee Spawn Obi Best
(PR) When she's not moonlighting as back-up singer for acclaimed retro-pop group the Bird and the Bee (Bluenote), Alex Lilly is masterminding the fanciful pop of Obi Best. With the help of a few Los Angeles-based friends and a sensibility that's as at home with Stereolab as it is with Prokofiev, Lilly conjures music that's complex and catchy -- think geometry, double-dutch, and animated spin art.
Obi Best's debut album, Capades, is a rich tapestry of piano, airy electronica, refined rock and panoramic beats deftly punctuated by bells and chirps and otherworldly sounds. Ranging from melodic and ethereal to rollicking and fun, the album inhabits a lush universe where fantasy and reality live side by side; here, Tokyo lies just around the block from Stockholm, youth and wisdom hold hands, magic seems to grow on trees.
Guiding the tour are Lilly's clarion vocals, which call to mind Feist, or Karen Carpenter (with more traction). Singing about bygone eras, nasty neighbors, lovers' covert ancestry, and the inadequacy of language all with disarming frankness, Lilly is both wide-eyed and watchful. It's this odd pairing of innocence and worldliness, combined with Lilly's irreverence and sass as a live performer, that makes Obi Best one of the more intriguing projects to come out of LA's music scene in recent years.
Obi Best is comprised of synth wizards Bram Inscore (Beck, Peeping Tom, Jem) and John Wood (Inara George, Mike Andrews), drummer Barbara Gruska (Jenny Lewis, Benji Hughes), Alex Lilly on vocals/guitar/keys/g4 and guest back-up vocalists Lisa Tremain (Readers) and Kim Talon (Eagle and Talon). They signed to LA record label Social Science in 2008 and the full-length is due for digital release on August 25th.
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