Ruby-Jean and the Thoughful Bees – s/t

Youth Club

Last year Halifax songstress Rebekah Higgs released her self-titled debut. While it was a perfectly respectable little singer-songwriter affair with shoegaze undertones she couldn’t distinguish herself enough from the similarly minded Sarah Sleans and St. Vincents of the world to make much of an impact. Now Higgs is back with her electronic dance project Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees and unfortunately it’s a case of different name same old story.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with the group’s self-titled album but there’s nothing remarkable about it either. The album features eight serviceable dance tracks driven by robotic synths heavy bass mechanical percussion and Higgs’s highly processed pixie vocals. The band easily establishes nice danceable grooves but asides from the trip hop throwback “Not About To” they sound like a second-rate Ladytron clone.

Like her solo debut Higgs’s work in Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees shows potential. She just needs to make a bold attempt to differentiate herself from her peers in order to realize it.