The Silver Seas
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The Silver Seas


Band Alternative Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Way Cool Music"

Way Cool Music first happened upon The Bees (U.S.) as the opening act for Josh Rouse a couple of years back. Of course we knew Daniel Tashian, frontman of The Bees, from his days as a multi-instrumentalist for Rouse, but we had no idea how far his talent actually reached. It was immediately apparent that Tashian could hold his own in a crowd of extremely talented musicians. The Bees’ 2004 release, Starry Gazey Pie, was well-received by critics, but didn’t find much exposure in the mainstream despite its pop appeal. High Society, their sophomore effort, brings the Nashville-based team back together with Jason Lehning (Steve Forbert, Nickel Creek) taking the producer’s helm. Laden with 1960’s inspired tunes, High Society happily marries Tashian’s silky vocals with the band’s thoughtful instrumentation.
From the opening track ‘The Country Life’ through ‘The Broadway Lights,’ listeners are transported back to a time when the radio waves were filled with airy pop tunes from the likes of The Beach Boys and Neil Young. While it might seem out of place in today’s mainstream radio, packed with chunky guitars and pounding drums, these stripped down tunes highlight the strong songwriting, and show that ‘pop’ does not have to be a dirty word. High Society gives a peak at the rare gems in the indie music realm that are worthy of discovery.

"Out The Other Review"

It's about time I start writing about what I've been listening to - rather than just playing it on my radio show. (Which I missed last night, because I was home sick, so I think the archive linked in the upper right corner is not actually me, FYI.)
Anyway, one of the albums I've been listening to a bunch over the course of the last month is High Society, by the Nashville band The Bees. The CD has been playing on my iPod, in my car, and on my computer at work since last month when I got it in the mail - and since I caught their CD release show at the Mercy Lounge.
High Society is an album full of impeccable pop. The track that first hit me when I popped in the CD was "The Country Life", a perfectly perky, classic-sounding song that clocks in at only two minutes and 39 seconds. The rest of the album basically follows suit - the longest track is just under four minutes, and although many of the songs are slower-paced, not a single one makes it to the point where it wears out its welcome. The simplicity of the songs is incredibly easy on the ear, and even on the first lap around the CD, the music sounds familar - a trait I often identify in artists that manage to nail the pop formula on the head.
The Bees seem to be sticking around the neighborhood here in Nashville for the time being, but if you live here you should definitely check them out at Grimey's on Saturday, June 3, where the band will be playing a free in-store performance at 5 p.m.

"Pop Matters Review"

Nashville indie breakouts The Bees have made the unfortunate mistake of sharing a name with an already-established British band, leading to confusion on the part of those who might discover them (thus the parenthetical). Those who have, however, will assure you that this band can stand on its own. High Society, the follow-up to their lush 2004 debut Starry Gazey Pie, is a deliciously fizzy '70s throwback with short, spunky tunes that are devoid of any jaded indie pose. The freshest tracks, opener "This Country Life" and the smooth "Hard Luck Tom" recall Elton John and Ben Folds, while others ("Ms. November", "Imaginary Girl") bring a breezy surf sound. The ending of the album drops off a little when Daniel Tashian's Rufus Wainwright-ish vocals become a bit too croon-y, but any missteps The Bees make are saved by their winning melodies and laid-back appeal. They've adapted the silly-smooth radio sound of the '70s for a new generation, sounding like Phoenix would if they came from Nashville, not France. These guys are certainly worth keeping an eye on -- it's only a matter of time before they knock out any similarly-named competition.

— Maura McAndrew

"The Bees (U.S.) Featured on NPR's World Cafe"

The Bees (U.S.): A Poorly Kept Secret

World Cafe, June 12, 2006

With their effortlessly breezy harmonies and indelible hooks, the members of Nashville's The Bees (U.S.) dispense an abundance of delicately crafted, beautifully rootsy pop. Often referred to as "Nashville's best poorly kept secret," the as-yet-unsigned band is poised for a national breakthrough.

The Bees (U.S.) began with the meeting of producer Jason Lehning and singer/songwriter Daniel Tashian, who shared a love for pop and likewise a distaste for bland and predictable modern rock. After a dispute with a British band with the same name, "(U.S.)" was added to The Bees' name in order to differentiate between the two. The group's 2004 debut album, "Starry Gazey Pie," drew rave reviews, leading Guster to ask The Bees (U.S.) to open for its nationwide tour.

The Bees (U.S.)'s newest album, the independently released High Society, finds the group building on its appealing sound. High Society's subtle channeling of The Beach Boys and Jackson Browne is sure to win the band even more fans, especially with the beautiful opener "The Country Life."

Listen to this story... by David Dye

"You've got to be joking"

I think there are a couple different kinds of summer songs: there are the hyperactive ones, such as "Crazy In Love," that become your car soundtrack for a couple months; then there are the mellow songs, like much of Iron & Wine's Endless Numbered Days, that go well with that late-afternoon, post-cookout hour.

This song is somewhere in between. It's certainly not hyperactive, but it's also got this fun breeziness that's hard to shake, perfect for your hazy Friday afternoon.

The Bees (U.S.) - Imaginary Girl.

The Bees (U.S.) are so named because a British band already claimed "The Bees" and got testy when this Nashville quartet tried to use the moniker. (Be consoled, The [English] Beat and [London] Suede! You too, Dios [Malos]!)

Anyway, these guys have gotten some nice attention lately, from NPR to some promotion from Paste magazine.

This song is from their new record High Society, and it has basically all I want in a pop song, minus the bells and handclaps (perhaps it's time for a remix, Bees? We'll talk): witness the effortless, McCartney-like vocals and sparkly 12-string guitar from Daniel Tashian; the poptastic piano from Jason Lehning. "Imaginary Girl," at 2:28, is also the perfect length. It fits in a little 12-string solo, a kind of piano-guitar-vocal breakdown, and a lilting exit.

High Society is available from CD Baby.

PS Hey British Bees, do you offer free relationship advice? Didn't think so. Suckas! -

"Reviews - Paste Magazine"

Every town has its poorly kept secrets -- bands that have obtained such local musical celebrity that a growing circle of die-hard fans tear their hair out wondering why they aren't a national smash hit ... until they become one. Like Austin's Los Lonely Boys or Boston's Guster before them, Nawshville's Bees (not to be confused with the Brits of the same name) are on the short list for the pop launch pad. Comprised of an eclectic group of musicians whose workaday projects have ranged from production and sidement engagements with everyone from Erasure to Nickel Creek, The Bees have decided to make good on their local legend. The band's forthcoming platter Starry Gazey Pie (a name that brilliantly describes the album's contents) will undoubtedly only help matters -- drenched as it is in sartorial harmonies and finely wrought heaps of hooks, hooks and more breezy hooks. Featuring Jason Lehning's sensitive but unobtrusive production, this disk is a slice of classic pop flavorid with the acoustic sensibilities only Nashville's best can muster. - Paste Magazine

"Reviews - Performing Songwriter"

It's been a long wait for Nashville fans, but this lush little record that has been waiting in obscurity for nearly two years is finally seeing the light of day. The Bees are an indie supergroup of sorts (formed of influential folks you've never heard of), featuring singer-songwriter Daniel Tashian, independent producer Jason Lehning (Steve Forbert, Nickel Creek) and the standout rhythm section of David Gehrke (Josh Rouse) and Robbie Harrington (David Mead). This is subtle and intelligent acoustic pop with traces of Departure Lounge, Ron Sexsmith and Neil Finn. Heavy on buoyant harmonies and hypnotic mid-tempo grooves, this is the kind of pop critics and critically thinking fans dream of. Absolutely gorgeous. Songs like "Sea of Stars" and "Letters From the Dead" are swooning, dreamy numbers with circular guitar and organ pads and sweet, smart lyrics. Nashville fans rejoice, but pop fans everywhere should grab a copy."
- Performing Songwriter Magazine

"Review - JunkMedia"

The Bees (U.S.)
High Society
Self-Released, 2006

Turns out Top 40 can be subversive too. On High Society, the second album from this Nashville quartet, the Bees mold guilty pleasures like ELO and Jackson Browne into a gorgeous pastiche.
Both “Country Life” and “Hard Luck Tom” come off as studied updates of Browne’s “Doctor My Eyes” while “She is Gone” uses the same stark piano chords and soft, echoed vocals of any number of lite rock hits (pay attention Al Stewart fans). While the Bees are hardly the first band to raid the dollar bin for ideas, songwriter Daniel Tashian makes it work by employing the same attention to detail that his influences made into an art form. “Hard Luck Tom” stacks four voices onto the chorus without ever sounding cluttered or labored, and all of the album’s most accessible tracks never exceed three minutes. Tashian certainly knows how to leave his listeners wanting more; blink and you’ll miss an offhandedly brilliant guitar solo on the title track. High Society isn’t without its problems though. There is a slight drop in song quality after “She is Gone,” and Tashian’s lyrics, like his concise arrangements, leave little to the imagination. This doesn’t bode well for repeated listening, but it sure makes for one hell of a weeklong friend. In an era of instant everything and cultural ADD, a week sure seems like an achievement these days.

"Review - Silence Magazine"

"The Bees are more a legend than a band. Comprised of producer/artists Daniel Tashian and Jason Lehning, as well as Robbie Harrington, current bassist for Keith Urban, and session drummer David Gehrke, time for the band to actually be a band has come rarely. The band has simmered under the radar in Nashville for a few years now, leaking only a few demos and live performances to tease their fans. With the release of Starry Gazey Pie, the Bees' Sixties-heavy pop finally has an outlet.

People familiar with Tashian's work with Josh Rouse or Lehning's production credits with Raul Malo and Mindy Smith should expect nothing similar to any of those artists, much less Keith Urban. The band began as Tashian's brainchild, calling Lehning after hearing a sound in his head and writing several songs to fill that sound. The band's sound is anchored in Tashian's 12-string guitar and the lush harmonies that decorate his perfectly crafted songs. The album begins with a Beatles-eque drumroll that launches into "Destiny on the Lawn", a bouncy ditty where Tashian describes his differences from the average Joe. The track glides by with insistent piano and sing-song interludes. "Starry Gazey Pie" rides a skittering drumbeat over which Tashian's smooth voice, like a raspy Rufus Wainwright, coos along with a wall of harmonies. "Love Is a Holiday" has a tricky descending verse progression before bursting into pop heaven with its rich chorus. The song then changes gears with a Moog freak-out courtesy of Lehning. "Message from the Birds" is as close to new wave as the Eagles ever got, with its breezy harmonies and strummed 12-string riding dangerously close to a keyboard loop. The band relaxes with "Sea of Stars", a soft love ballad that keeps it simple, adding only touches of Moog and a gorgeous outro solo. "Only Gravity" picks up the pace a bit, with its grooving verse moving into a supremely uplifting chorus. Tashian reads off other people's correspondence on "Letters from the Dead", where his voice and Lehning's mesh beautifully to create a soothing effect. "Bring on the Clowns" runs through a false start before settling into a delightful two-beat number about the circus that is Tashian's life. "Mrs. Wilson" is a lovely but somewhat forgettable song that seems to fit into the subconscious of the album, adopting the band's sound, but doing little to distinguish itself. Closer "It Was" rides a minor key progression punctuated by Lehning's keyboard stabs, while Tashian wavers back and forth between truth and falsity. The scorching outro solo provides a bit of a break from the band's usual sound, while possibly showing insight into the future of the Bees. I am sure glad that the Bees finally have a product to keep me going between live shows and downloadable mp3s. This record portrays their ability to create something as a unit that is transcendent of their individual careers and sounds. This album is pure pop glory, and is addictive after only one listen."
- Silence Magazine

"Interview w The Bees (U.S.)"

The Basement, the stark yet cozy bar with unadorned brick innards, was wall-to-wall packed this Saturday with a well-kept crowd of 20-something hipsters. The attraction was Nashville-based band The Bees, consisting of singer-songwriter Daniel Tashian on 12-string acoustic guitar and vocals; distinguished producer (e.g., Nickel Creek) Jason Lehning on piano, David Gehrke on drums and vocals, and John Deadrick on bass. Their sophisticated texturing of poetic lyrics and melodies, expert instrumentation, and Tashian's straight, appropriately aloof delivery is nicely complimented by the sardonic wit of the band members, which was revealed in an interview I was lucky enough to conduct Monday night.

NB: How's the chemistry between ya'll? (Bassist John Deadrick replaced Robbie Harrington who is now with Keith Urban.)

JD: Really good, easy band to play with. Loose. Up for interpretation. Great band to play in.

NB: Have you produced a music video? Without budget worries, how would you direct your music video?

JD: I've never made a video, but would love to. Who needs a budget? A couple of (sorority girls) and a mule wouldn't cost much, and would look just fantastic set to our music! The Bees opened with their familiar sounds, and soon we were adrift in a "Sea of Stars." Tashian's voice is just splendid live; his studio vocals do him little justice comparatively.

NB: Daniel how is your solo career advancing?

DT: I'm completely used to waiting a few years for things I write to come out. With that having been said, my second solo record, which is finished, should see the light of day by 2007, at which point disco will be back in style again.

NB: Favorite record store?

DT, DG, JL: Grimey's!

The Bees' 2004 release Starry Gazey Pie conveys a sense of dreaminess projected through vocal harmonies and contrasting instrumental timbre, best encapsulated in "Sea of Stars," "Letters from the Dead," and "Mrs. Wilson." Although there are three elements to this collection that are sometimes intertwined - a nod to the 60's, a soothing Debussy-like effect, and pure pop - there is a unique, unified sound to the album that denotes the evident expertise of each member.

NB: How would you feel if a couple of your songs were remixed into a hit dance single , like "Starry Gazy Pie" or "Love is a Holiday" pumped up to 170 bpm? Would that be a desecration? DT: I would be thrilled! Any form a song can be in where people can hear it is fine with me. I would be similarly thrilled if the Eagles cut one of my songs!

NB: Starry Gazey Pie has this dreamy, ethereal element--is that the same soundscape for your new album? Or is the plan to change and diversify?

DT: Yes, there are elements that are very dreamy. Although the new album isn't finished, I hope there will be at least one or two songs with the same vibe, because I happen to like that sound. But I also hope to add one or two new flavas.

NB: Your favorite bar/hangout?

DT: I really like Sperry's and also Brown's Diner and Chinatown. My favorite place to have a drink is my grandma's house. My favorite place to hang out is at home.

NB: Any fetishes (like collections), hobbies, or surprising facts to share with us?

DT: Hobbies include: collecting books, playing tennis, reading, making up band names and theories about the nature of the universe. Such as "cats like it when you squint at them." I hope The Bees are released in Japan because I would like to visit there. As far as surprising facts are concerned, I was ordained as a minister by the ULC and have performed 2 marriages (both of which are currently divorced).

JL: I've always been kind of grossed out by feet, but I'm starting to think that I'm actually really into feet and just embarrassed to admit it. I had a pedicure not long ago and I can't quit thinking about it! I also like to cook a lot, although I've never cooked feet of any kind.

JD: [I] can swim underwater without air for 34 minutes....and Mom is founding member of the band KISS.

The Vanderbilt Hustler - Vanderbilt Hustler


2004 Starry Gazey Pie (BeesWax)

2007 High Society (Cheap Lullaby)



Daniel Tashian, lead singer and chief songwriter of Nashville-based quartet The Silver Seas, claims that the inspiration for the bittersweet pop songs on the group’s Cheap Lullaby debut didn’t come from a romantic breakup, some unrequited love or any of the typical catalysts for tunes like these, which teeter thrillingly between hopefulness and heartbreak. Tashian says it was sitcoms.

“I was wishing someone would hear one of my songs and pick it up for a sitcom theme,” Tashian confesses, “so I got into that mode of writing for a while. There is something about that music – songs from The Odd Couple, Laverne and Shirley, the Pink Panther cartoons –that got ingrained in my brain. The Odd Couple theme is the perfect form of music for me because it’s minor chords, but it’s not sad. In fact, there is song on High Society, ‘Tativille,’ that tips its hat to The Odd Couple.”

Opening track “Country Life” is an upbeat, fish-out-of-water story – a hipster city slicker’s version of Green Acres, if you will – that could indeed double as a jaunty sit-com theme. But the title track, which follows, is its darker, yearning flipside. With tunes about outsider guys longing for girls who are just out of their reach or their income bracket, High Society has remarkable emotional depth, even if the arrangements --which boast layers of harmonies from all four band members, jangly 12-string acoustic guitar solos, and shimmering keyboard touches - - have such an easygoing feel.

Tashian, who’d been reading Evelyn Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse while he wrote these songs, is decidedly more Tin Pan Alley than Music Row. He’s got a knack for creating instantly memorable melodies to pair with often plaintive lyrics, though he’s no show-off; his craftsmanship seems effortless, as if he just dashed off these sneakily addictive numbers in his spare time. Says Tashian, “My lyrics and melodies are straightforward, but I think it’s harder to do these kinds of pop songs than, say, a heavier ballad.” Any one of them would surely be AM radio-worthy – the cocktail-hour croon of “We’ll Go Walking,” the country rock of “Catch Your Own Train,” the breezy romanticism of “Imaginary Girl,” which, come to think of it, would have made a great theme to the classic ‘60s sitcom The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis.

Grammy-winning producer, arranger and keyboardist Jason Lehning doesn’t polish these songs to perfection because they sound gorgeous in nearly naked form. Lehning points out that Tashian constructs his songs in an appealingly weird fashion, generally avoiding bridges for a verse-chorus, verse-chorus approach or, in the case of “Miss November, “it’s just three verses and then it’s over. There’s such an interesting structure to it.” And it works, conveying the urgency of a narrator pleading with a centerfold for a date, a time-honored rock and roll scenario; harmonies piled on ELO-style help to sweeten the plot.

“We’re a good team,” says Lehning. “We bring to each other what the other one doesn’t have. Daniel’s an incredibly spontaneous person and I’m an incredibly pragmatic person. When we work together, we get to be ourselves in a really good way. That makes a nice balance and it’s really enjoyable for me.”

High Society was recorded in two days at Sound Emporium Studio A in Nashville, which played host to R.E.M, when they were making Document, as well as many country, folk and indie-rock artists. Along with Tashian and Lehning, The Silver Seas feature John Deaderick on electric bass and David Gehrke on drums. After the foursome had rehearsed and gigged enough to get comfortable with the new material, Lehning gathered his band-mates in one large room at the studio to cut these tracks live. Admits Lehning, “We didn’t have any money, so this was designed for us to get done fast.” He later added home studio overdubs and cut some more vocals. For the most part, though, the resulting album reflects one inspired weekend’s worth of intense recording.

Both Tashian and Lehning were raised deep within the Nashville music scene. Tashian’s dad Barry was lead singer of the Boston-based, mid-sixties cult combo the Remains and subsequently toured with Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band. Lehning’s dad Kyle is a well-respected country music producer and the former president of Asylum Records Nashville. While the young Lehning apprenticed behind the boards, Tashian was developing into a formidable singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He signed with Elektra Records in New York City and, in 1996, released his solo debut, Sweetie, produced by T-Bone Burnett.

Lehning and Tashian first met briefly by chance before choosing to work together. Recalls Lehning, “I remember a foggy night in a Nashville bar called the Iguana, right after Daniel finished his Elektra record. I talked with him for a couple of hours, and then he disappeared for about two more years.” Tashian laughingly says he had “an allergic reaction” to Lehning, but something about their exc