Moments and Moods; a review of basic.bee’s “Faster Than NASA”

If you’ve never heard of basic.bee, you definitely aren’t alone.

The Delta, B.C artist’s most played song has 18,022 plays on Spotify, with every other song struggling to get more than 1,000.

So why should you care? Well, she’s one of Evolution’s newest additions to our music rotation. So take some time to get familiar with her newest work.

Faster Than NASA is her latest release and, in this humble writer’s opinion, is by far her best work to date. Musically this is a great album and production wise; its top notch. But as a piece of art, as an experience? That is where this album truly shines.

Let’s start the with the cover. Call me old school, call me shallow, but I believe you can judge a book (or album) by its cover. So, what’s this artwork all about? Well, it’s a little tough to say exactly what it is, what it means, what it signifies, heck it might just be a blurry photo that the artist thought was cool. The cover doesn’t exactly give a clear idea what I’m going to getting into.

At this point I was little bit confused. “Ok, so it’s a blurry figure and some lights” I thought. “That’s cool, but what does that have to do with NASA? Or being faster than NASA? How can you be faster than NASA?” all thoughts that raced through my head. I scroll down a little bit to find that basic.bee has written a little bit about the album. Hoping to find some clarity I read it and find a sentence that helps me to understand “if you want any meaning to the songs, find a meaning that you relate to”. Hm. Ok. So either this album is going to contain elements and feelings that we can all relate to, or the artist is too lazy to find meaning in their own work. Still, I’m trying to go into this with an open mind so I try and get into that headspace. I click play, start the album, begin the first track “distorted weekend” and hope that I can get something out of it.

I won’t bore you with a track by track analysis, I’ll just give you the highlights. My favourite song on this album was dearest featuring and written by Isaac IE Perez. A slow, haunting, romantic song about young love. Perez’s voice is absolutely perfect for this song and the basic.bee’s production on it creates a beautiful emotional song that captures the joys of falling in love. The song itself can feel a little slow, hazy, or foggy, but the feelings you get from it come out perfectly clear.

Another track worth checking out is new voyager disc music a trippy, spacey sounding song. It’s one of the more upbeat sounding tracks which begins the last bit of the album. It’s a great song that gives a nice contrast to an album that otherwise can feel a little bit gloomy.

Did I feel anything? Did I get any meaning? Absolutely I did. From start to finish basic.bee does an excellent job of making you feel something. Feelings, emotions, moods that you’ve maybe felt before, but that you can’t quite put your finger on. Listening to this album I often found myself thinking “This kind of reminds me of this, this makes me think of this, I feel like this song would be good for this type of movie…”. My problem with instrumental music is that I can sometimes have a hard time figuring out what the song or album is about. However, reading the background behind the album provided by basic.bee really helped to give me some context about the album and allowed me to appreciate it a lot more. “a lot of these songs are simply the musical equivalent of moods/feeling i was feeling when i decided to record” she writes “it doesn’t matter what i was thinking it’s the feel that comes from it that is the most important.”

Listening to an album who’s goal is just to make you feel something and have you relate on a purely emotional level is, in my opinion, an incredibly beautiful and pure form of artistic expression. I find that I’ll often listen to music, watch a film, read a book, or take in any type of artistic media really, and look way too hard for the intellectual meaning behind it. Art should serve as more than something we can understand, it should also be something we can feel, and feelings are seldom easy to describe.

You can check out the album for yourself in the here. Let me know what you think! Did you get anything out of it? Or am I looking way too deeply into this?

dearest has just been added to Evolution’s rotation! So expect to hear it make its debut on the airwaves soon!

-Nelson Ellis

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