FM PREMIERE: Creating a Musical mosaic – ‘King Crow’ by the enchanting​ duo All The Bees

"It felt like there was a whole Royal Hall of earthly singers with good solid work boots on who are singing their praises to the King Crow"
24 November 2023

Within the vast landscape of folk music, where the boundaries between tradition and innovation become indistinct, a enchanting​ duo, All the Bees, takes center stage. Bringing together the seasoned artistry of Kirsty McGee and Gitika Partington, this dynamic pair has crafted a debut album that enchantingly intertwines delicate yet profound melodies, creating a pastoral tapestry of alt-folk. Taken from the eponymous debut album by All the Bees, King Crow stands as a poignant homage to the monarch of the avian realm.

A standout from the upcoming album, King Crow, is a nostalgic banjo-flecked vocal epic that pays homage to the king of the birds. Partington’s choral arranging expertise shines through, creating an evocative ode that captures the essence of nature’s beauty.

The song’s development, as Partington reveals, “was one of the early songs on the album, I was still finding a way of highlighting parts of the lyric with vocal washes and bringing into being the ‘All the Bees’ sound. I had a lot of fun creating the end section of the song, so it felt like there was a whole Royal Hall of earthly singers with good solid work boots on who are singing their praises to the King Crow. I wish I had filmed me stomping and wailing whilst recording the track in different areas of my flat. I definitely woke the baby next-door, but they didn’t make it onto the album.”

Kirsty McGee, an award-winning maverick with over two decades of musical exploration, has graced stages worldwide, earning admiration from the likes of Emma Watson and Danny Boyle. Her track Sandman found its place in Boyle’s thriller Trance, a testament to the enchanting allure of McGee’s music.

Teaming up with Gitika Partington, a musical force celebrated for her seven critically acclaimed albums and choral arrangements published by OUP and Hal Leonard, All the Bees embarked on a transformative journey. Their debut album, set for release this winter, promises a refreshing collaboration that melds McGee’s meandering flute and Partington’s choral finesse.

The origins of All the Bees are as serendipitous as their enchanting music. Crossing paths on a lockdown film and TV sync music course, McGee and Partington began their collaboration remotely. Over the course of three tumultuous years marked by grief, illness, and the challenges of the pandemic, the duo poured their hearts into crafting a debut album that reflects their shared musical vision.

Despite having met only thrice in person, McGee and Partington’s connection goes beyond the notes and lyrics. Their time together, largely spent cooking and savoring plant-based delights, mirrors the harmony they’ve achieved in their musical partnership.

Now available through Hobopop Recordings, King Crow acts as a thrilling precursor to the eagerly anticipated debut album of All the Bees, scheduled to enchant our senses on December 8th, 2023.

Photos by Emma Drabble