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‘All the Bees’ are Kirsty McGee and Gitika Partington, two highly experienced writer-musicians who have created an exciting new album of gentle yet deep, pastoral alt-folk that brings together their distinctive styles into a crisp, fresh new collaboration that weaves its stunning, reflective songs like gossamer threads around the ear.

McGee is an award-winning wandering maverick and spellbinding live performer who has been releasing music and performing all over the world for over twenty years. Her fans include Emma Watson and Danny Boyle, for whose 2014 thriller ‘Trance’ the song ‘Sandman’ provided a cornerstone, both in its original version and covered by lead actress Rosario Dawson.

Partington, has had a similarly vibrant and varied career in music to date, releasing seven albums which have achieved critical acclaim and national airplay from likes of BBC 6 Music. She has created 4 books of multi-genre choral acapella arrangements published by OUP and Hal Leonard and multi-layered vocal tracks for Warner Chappell and Peermusic. During the lockdown of Spring 2020, she directed nearly 100 community singers and produced 9 award-winning, original, quirky virtual choir videos of her choral arrangements.

Introspective, heartfelt and unashamed of straying into poetry, the pair’s lyrics focus on nature themes and cycles including loss, death and rebirth – take for example their debut single ‘Wildflowers’, which is a hazy, ethereal track that conjures a fragrant meandering reflective walk in the countryside, as autumn turns to winter, remembering the wildflowers and the abundance of summer.

On the inspiration behind the new single, McGhee reveals, “Having grown up pretty wild in the country, as a child I was fascinated in a Victorian tradition called ‘floriography’ that allowed lovers and friends to deliver clandestine messages to one another using a symbolic ‘language of flowers’. This is such a fun well of unspoken meaning for a lyricist. ‘Yarrow’ – a British wildflower whose Latin name ‘millefolium’ translates as ‘one thousand leaves’ has been used to secretly communicate everlasting love, bravery and even has the country name ‘bad man’s plaything’. Meadowsweet, by contrast, means beauty, happiness, peace and protection but was also thought to deter snakes. For years I’ve enjoyed a ‘private language’ when choosing flower names in my lyrics. All the Bees, steeped in countryside folklore, is a perfect project for me to use this forgotten language.”

McGee and Partington crossed paths by chance on a lockdown film and TV sync music zoom course and started working together remotely. Over the next 3 years, through major grief from close family deaths, illness, the crashing lack of usual musical ventures and the whole trauma of the pandemic, McGee and Partington immersed themselves in their new-found collaboration and created the debut, self-titled All the Bees album, which is due for release this winter.

The duo have only met three times in real life – most of that time was spent cooking and eating seriously healthy and beautiful plant-based food. Their perfect blend of harmonies and musical flow on ‘Wildflowers’ and through-out the new album suggests some kind of pre-destined deeper connection.

1698403666 436 All the Bees to release self titled debut album 8th December | allo-guitare
Photos by Emma Drabble

All The Bees debut single ‘Wildflowers’ comes out on 27th October via Hobopop Recordings, with the self-titled debut album to follow on 8th December 2023.

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By Porter