Chasing Eva is primarily a female vocal album built around guitars and other live instruments, bound together with quirky electronica and crisp programmed beats. This is an album with a very contemporary sound both vocally and musically. Melanie Garside (AKA Maple Bee) uses her voice creatively - in whispers, confiding, intimate - close-up, spoken, distant, passionate and just plain good singing.
The richly textured gothic aesthetic of the cover art appropriately sets the mood for Chasing Eva. There are brooding songs here with a dark edge, gentle mellow acoustics, words strung across sampled noise and imaginative sound effects and tracks with a chorus line that will have you hooked and singing along. Maple Bee clearly enjoys sound - her compositions are never too busy, each element luxuriates in its own space be it a recorder, pitch-shifted white noise, flanged guitar or layered whisperings.
The sumptuous artwork is of a high standard - all twenty pages of it. There are plenty of photographs (presented as Polaroid snaps) and some interesting background information to browse through. Lyrics are cleverly laid out across worn scraps of paper taped to flaking walls, weathered woodwork and rust. Track titles indicate the range of emotional material explored: Moth Touch, Sadness Landed, Got Her Way, State of Waiting, Cocooner. If you like something to look at whilst you listen, this package delivers.
Melanie Garside herself is certainly busy musically; she works with the Mediaeval Baebes, is bassist with [Queenadreena], handles guitar & vocals with [Vertigo Angels] and has even contributed her voice to Conjure One's 'Pandora'. Her solo CD Chasing Eva is no less whole-hearted for this though; here we have a double album of twenty-two tracks with hardly a weak moment between them! Happily Maple Bee is working a musical vein much deeper and more challenging than the mainstream trash that fills most radio stations. She is not afraid to experiment with her dream-like lyrics, widely varied vocals and even in producing some "weird noises on odd machines".
WHO WILL LIKE THIS ALBUM
Maple Bee will draw the post-rock, electronica generation that enjoys an individual approach to the female voice. If you like emotive songs, strange noises, guitars, loops and programming - this CD is a great choice. I'm sure this album will appeals to fans of Harland, Delerium, Collide and the like.
--MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS
Maple Bee is also the other half of [Huski]