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artist Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees

Halifax, NS, CANADA
Youth Club Records
Electro, Pop

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biographical info

When the world ends with the fiery explosion of the sun and lava fire-working out of all the earth’s crevices, most of humanity will be freaking the fuck out and dousing themselves with their own urine. Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees fans, however, will just be like “meh.”

Ruby Jean shows are ground-poundingly ecstatic. Rebekah Higgs, the first horsewoman of the apocalypse, throws herself both figuratively and literally into the seething, sweating, dancing masses before her. The bruises she incurs while crowd surfing, moshing and hurling herself unto the audience are unfelt until she wakes up calm and hung-over in Rebekah Higgs’ bed, remembering little of Ruby Jean until she sees a Youtube video of herself doing seven costume changes and pouring a bottle of champagne into a guy’s mouth from the stage.

Though a force of blonde and loud, Higgs alone is not a plague of killer bees. Providing the flaming guitar licks from hell is the gold spandex clad, red sequin-sporting stallion of doom known as Jason Vautour. Alternate tunings and ear bending pedals turn this guy’s guitar into a bass when necessary and turn his hooks into the type that lodge into your face and rip your cheek clean off.

The hooded master, the song-crafter in black leather is Colin Crowell. This guy hangs back on stage, keeping the machine tight, basking in the insane blips, beats and bass that he composes and records back at his bat cave. It is these that inspire Vautour’s guitar and Higgs’ warped voice-as-instrument layerings.

Holding it all together with a grin is the devilishly handsome Mike Belyea. His beatings alter the magnetic electro mess that is the Thoughtful Bees. With impeccable timing and monstrous force he fills the room with the most primal of all noises: the rib cage rattling of real live drums.

The audacity of their live presence won the Bees some damned impressive shows and festivals before they even released their 2009 eponymous album. They’ve opened for Dragonette, Kid Koala, Thunderheist, and they recently tore the UK a new one on a trip there to play The Great Escape in Brighton.

The album, which Crowell meticulously recorded, mixed and mastered over nine months, has received rave international reviews and a hell of a lot of “fuck yeahs” from listeners. The first one thousand CDs come in limited edition, entirely hand crafted and silk screened cases, by artists Chris Foster and Laura Dawe.

"Dance-y to a thoroughly sweaty and satisfying extent, RJATTB is the thing that Gloria Estefan was warning you about when she sang the "rhythm is gonna get you," and the Maritimes' high-energy answer to the dance-rock movement that seems to be sweeping the nation. Pulsating, nasty, punky, groovy — RJATTB is all of these things and more, a confident, smirking monster of a good time that seems destined to take the country by storm."

- Dave Jaffer, Montreal Hour

"One of the up-and-coming electro bands to watch for in ’09 has to be Halifax’s Ruby Jean & The Thoughtful Bees. Ruby Jean (actually Rebekah Higgs) is a divine disco mistress at the mic — her swooning vocals dip between bouncing, dancey-dance sweetness and distant, ambient purrs. The beats are hard, fast, and bleepy, and you can certainly hear MSTRKRFT and Daft Punk all over the hooks on "Danse Danse Resolution" (the standout on the album) and "Trustfund." The quirky synths and dark, deep guitar are irresistibly danceable.

Dorky as it may be, I like to test out an album's danceability by throwing it on while housecleaning, and these tracks will have you literally crawling on the kitchen counter to get to that pesky dust above the cabinets — that’s how catchy the beats are. “Girls You Love” had me scraping behind the fridge, for God’s sake. Should these Bees decide to swing westward in the new year, you’d be an idiot to miss them."

- Fawnda Mithrush, See Magazine

I'm a sucker for dirty electro, and this shit is good. A Halifax super-group featuring Rebekah Higgs, Colin Crowell, Jason Vautour and Sean MacGillivray, Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees is exactly the kind of stuff I would like to listen to on a Saturday night with someone’s tongue in my ear. I’m also a sucker for great packaging, and the hand-screened art ... featuring a suitcase, instruments and portraits of the band members all in stunning gold on black throughout, is totally awesome"

- Bryan Saunders, Vue Weekly


Rebekah Higgs vocals
Colin Crowell producer
Jason Vautour guitar
Sean MacGillivray drums


Napalm Death
Dimmu Borgir
North of America
DFA 1979
Daft Punk
Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees
January, 2009
List Tracks ▼


Don't Miss Me 6:10

Don't Miss Me

A remix of "You Don't Miss Me" by Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees. Video source is a 1928 short film by James Sibley Watson entitled "Fall of the House of Usher," based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe. Produced and cut by Colin Crowell on July 15, 2008.

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