The Bird & The Bee – Live At Underground Arts, Philadelphia – Sept. 28, 2016 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The Bird & The Bee – catching a little “home brew” this evening with one of the more interesting (and satisfying) Indie bands to come out of the U.S. in many moons.
The Bird and the Bee (stylized as the bird and the bee) is an American indie pop musical duo from Los Angeles, consisting of Inara George (“the bird”) and Greg Kurstin (“the bee”). Kurstin—a five time Grammy Award winning producer and multi-instrumentalist who has worked with artists such as Sia, Kylie Minogue, Little Boots, Ladyhawke, Lily Allen, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Beck, Barenaked Ladies, The Flaming Lips, Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers—is also a member of the band Geggy Tah. George and Kurstin met while the two were working on her debut album and they decided to collaborate on a jazz-influenced electropop project. Their debut EP, Again and Again and Again and Again, was released on October 31, 2006, followed by their self-titled debut album on January 23, 2007.
According to their Myspace page, Greg and Inara “were introduced in 2004 by mutual friend Mike Andrews, whom George had enlisted to produce her solo debut, All Rise. George and Kurstin soon found themselves spending hours together in the studio, where a shared interest in jazz-based music helped lay the foundation for the Bird and the Bee. [They] began to explore new sounds and textures, eventually composing enough material for their debut EP.” That EP was the four-track Again and Again and Again and Again, released on October 31, 2006 by Blue Note Records. The EP includes the single “Fucking Boyfriend”, which topped the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart on the issue dated December 2, 2006.
The duo’s self-titled debut studio album, The Bird and the Bee was released on January 23, 2007 to positive reviews; AllMusic described it as “irresistible” and “charming and delightful at every turn”.
Mid-2007 saw the band touring as the opening act for English singer Lily Allen, while their music was heard twice that year in the ABC drama series Grey’s Anatomy, with “Again & Again” featured in the April 26 episode titled “Desire”, and “Polite Dance Song” featured in the October 25 episode “Haunt You Every Day” the former was also included on the third volume of the show’s soundtrack. With the holiday season came additional exposure for the group, when Apple Inc.’s iTunes Store chose “Carol of the Bells” to be the featured “Free Single of the Week” for the week of November 27.
The Bird and the Bee announced on their official Facebook page on September 26, 2011 that they were no longer signed to Blue Note Records. They also stated, “We don’t have an exact release date for the album yet, but it’ll most likely be early 2012.” On November 18, 2011, the duo released a digital-only Christmas single titled “Wishes” through their website.
The Bird and the Bee contributed “All Our Endless Love” to the soundtrack for the 2014 film Endless Love. This was a collaboration with Matt Berninger, and was released on the soundtrack album on 11 February 2014. They produced a new track named “Undone” for the soundtrack of Sex Tape in July of the same year.
In April 2015, George announced that a new album would be released in July of that same year.The album, released on 17 July, was titled Recreational Love. The album’s debut single, “Will You Dance?” was released on 5 May 2015.
In September 2017, both George and Kurstin were featured on the Foo Fighters song “Dirty Water”, from the album Concrete and Gold that Kurstin produced. George contributed the background vocals to the track, while Kurstin played the synth.
To get an idea of what they sound like live, here is a set from The Bird and The Bee, recorded In September of 2016 (minus Greg Kurstein in the lineup).