If I were to sit you down with some music and ask you to tell me where the band is from, typically, you’ll be spot on. Italy, you’ll find a reincarnation of honest old-time rock. Spain, you’ll get into the heavier rock. South Korea, you get men who dance like they’re riding imaginary horses. USA, you’ll find an inexplicable passion for people wearing meat dresses. You get the point. Rarely, do you come across something so globally diverse and mentally expansive that you find yourself in awe of the sound and perplexed with the origin.
When BeeTunes arrived at NanoHQ, it came with the notes of “originally from Stord Island, Norway” but “settled down in Stockholm.” Immediately I gravitated to thoughts of punk-infused club music or something exponentially more complex. I hit play and the result was none of the above.
BeeTunes, also known as Bjørn Bunes, is a modern day child Peter Gabriel-meets-Jon Anderson, combining elaborative style and vision filled vocals. Though not any direct relation to either (that I could find) each track is like a Where’s Waldo? of musical exploration and deep-seated eclectic instrumentation. You’ll challenge yourself to find the slight nuances within each track again and again.
The debut release BGO is aptly bookended by “Welcome” and “End” as it begins with dark whimsy and ending with a reflective ballad. Bunes’ vocals float along the wave of musical bliss, whether high or low, they obtain the perfect balance track to track. He nods to a retro-late 70s-vibe in “Questions,” a stage-like presences in “Inmyhead,” light, catchy pop with “Onandon” and plays an almost Radiohead-like ballad with “Sometimes.” From beginning to end, the album bleeds diversity. It welcomes you with open arms and then bids you farewell; only, you’ll find you probably don’t want to leave.
Bunes took his time crafting BGO and the result is a richly diverse ten track album that is just as surprising as it is enjoyable. The former member of Poor Rich Ones and William Hut’s solo project, has taken his experiences and finely molded them into a sound all his own. Self-produced and recorded, BGO, as just a debut, takes the cake when compared to his former band-mate. But we know this isn’t a competition, so we all win…right?