When brother/sister duo Chris and Kate Farstad asked friends Micky Alfano and Mark Ritsema to join them in musical harmonic formation, jaded observers in the already-crowded Minneapolis indie rock scene were quick to skepticism:
“Are you telling me that a band named Mouthful of Bees, formed this very year (2005)-a band that combines the angelic lead vocals and angular guitar of Chris Farstad and the pounding, raucous drumming of his sister Kate, when combined with the melodic bass work of Micky Alfano and the insistent rhythm guitar of Mark Ritsema-are you telling me that they will go on to play many shows at diverse venues around the city (and later, country), and in 2007 (two years in the future, remember) record a critically-acclaimed debut album on Afternoon Records entitled “The End,” garner airplay on national radio (#38 on the CMJ charts) with its endlessly catchy single “The Now,” before touring and receiving the Minneapolis City Pages awards in 2007 for “Best New Band” and first place in “Picked To Click?” Is that what you are telling me? Because, frankly…I can believe it!”
And believe it they should (and did), because Mouthful of Bees did all those things and much more (but pretty much just those things).
Before embarking on their next album in the spring of 2008, the band decided to enlist the help of friends Simon Larson and Patrick Swanson for new songs and ideas. In the following months of often-grueling recording sessions, a newer, quirkier and more sophisticated sound evolved, complete with tricky time signatures, complex harmonies and a larger, more fully-orchestrated sound. When all was said and done, erased accidentally and done again, Mouthful of Bees had created, what else, “Mouthful of Bees,” 12 diverse tracks of lush, strange, rockin’ pop.