A mix of both confessional reflection and spiritual observation -- all rendered with one of the most achingly lovely voices -- Frally Hynes' exquisite 2010 album The Light prevailed as one of our favorite albums of the year, one that we described as an "inspired masterwork of sensitive, sensual songcraft." New long-awaited April album, the self-released Apis Mellifera (Latin for "honey bee"), is another rare gem. Working again with multi-instrumentalist/producer Jeff Hill (Rufus Wainwright), Frally again taps into themes of redemption, relationships and renewal, Hill and a superb band adding subtle backing -- and an occasional buzz of electricity -- to songs that span chamber pop grace ("Peace"), melancholic mood pieces ("Devil") and tender folk ballads ("Take Your Time"). Tracked live in the studio, "California" (listen below) is a glorious country-tinged campfire classic, Teddy Thompson adding vocals and sweet harmony to a slow dance of pedal steel and acoustic jangle. DC exclusive stream "By Chance" kicks off the album with the tension of frayed electric guitar riffs sustaining an interesting counterbalance to Frally's vulnerable vocals and the chiming piano notes in the bridge.
Photo Credit: Heidi Ross
Frally w/ Jeff Hill and Bill Dobrow