Album Reviews

Sxip Shirey

A Bottle Of Whiskey And A Handful Of Bees

Artist:     Sxip Shirey

Album:     A Bottle Of Whiskey And A Handful Of Bees

Label:     Via Records

Release Date:     01/13/2017


Sxip Shirey is awesome. There’s no other way to put it. He’s worked with (and is a founding member of) the Luminescent Orchestrii. He tours the world composing for and performing with a variety of artists and ensembles, and he’s well known on the NYC performance scene. His new album is a one man show that captures the audience and brings out special guests that rotate with every view. If Sxip Shirey were a Broadway show, people would line up and watch it countless times.

The titles alone are enough to draw you in– “This Is How You Break Into My House To Find Me,” “Fat Robot,” “Bach, Stevie Wonder And Janelle Monae.” They all seemingly match Shirey’s storytelling abilities and personality.

Track one, “Over the City,” takes me back to waiting in line at Disney World for Space Mountain. Or maybe it reminded me of the Disney Electrical Parade score I listened to over and over again on a trip down I-95 to the Magic Kingdom. Either way, for me, this album begins on a happy note, and I was ready to dive all in and listen from start to finish.

Shirey brings on Rhiannon Giddens for the lead vocals of “Woman of Constant Sorrow,” a fresh and modern take on the traditional folk song “Man of Constant Sorrow.” “I Don’t See Her Walking In,” featuring XAVIER, is your indie hit. “The Land Whale Choir Sinks The Albert Hall” is the overture that sets the scene of the show. “Grandpa Charlie” is the score of a montage scene. Every song is different in genre, mood, the way it makes you move.

Truly, A Bottle of Whiskey And A Handful Of Bees is the gift that keeps on giving, surprises await you on every song because you really don’t know what’s coming next. With unique titles, a calming electric feel, and praises from Neil Gaiman, seriously… what’s not to like? Why wouldn’t you pick up this album if you saw it in a store, and give it a try? It’s strange. And it’s so much fun. We need fun.

-Brenda Hillegas


Watch the video for “Palms,” a track from the album featuring Puddles Pity Party, HERE.

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