Thao Nguyen’s sophomore album We Brave Bee Stings And All has some real jams — see, for instance, “Beat (Health, Life, And Fire).” Maybe the most immediately addictive is “Bag Of Hammers,” packed as it is with Thao’s cathartic “Shake the frame of this house. Distress the wood, make it shout” chorusing and “As sharp as I sting, as sharp as I sing. It just soothes you, doesn’t it? Like a lick of ice cream” riddling. The colorful Clyde Petersen and Forrest Baum-directed video for the song involves lo-fi claymation, starring pesky pre-Gumby kids armed with guitars, the strength to lift houses, and a hardcore jonesing for ice cream. They bathe in the stuff.
Yeah, we’d probably skip town, too. If you miss seeing Thao herself, revisit the video documentation of her down-by-the-sea Take-Away on “Baby I Love You.”
We Brave Bee Stings And All is out now via Kill Rock Stars.