Revivalist bands are on the rise. Look no further than Greta Van Fleet, who recreate much of the feel and sound of Led Zeppelin. With that theme in mind, enter The Last Bees. They are an independent lo-fi pop band that strikes its chord on music that rang true during the fab mop top era of the 1960s. Their pop rock approach and musicianship stylistically derives from The Beatles. They have began garnering significant buzz in important circles of the music industry since dropping their debut EP in April 2019.
Ian Ash and The Last Bees
Ash began to try his hand at all different facets of musical composition. Within months of that revelatory Beatles’ discovery moment, he learned to play piano. Shortly thereafter, he began to write and record demos on his father’s’ 4-track cassette tape. A few years later, he threw his name in the ring for the Pepsi Summerfest Talent Search Contest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Among hundreds of artists at the competition, Ash won the award for best composition at age 13.
The Last Bees: breaking through
A major turning point within his career arrived following Ash’s performance at the Waukesha County Fair. A man by the name of Bruce Johnston took a keen liking to his stage presence and sonic material. As Ash went on to win the award for Best Vocalist at the Waukesha County Fair, he earned himself a chance to open for Johnston’s band, The Beach Boys.
As the opening act for the well-renown Beach Boys, Ash continued to cultivate his musical persona and began to travel the country. In 2014, the band Ian and the Dream was formed prior to the commencement of the “Bodog Battle of the Bands” at The Rave/Eagles Club venue. Following their brilliant performance in that competition, Ian and the Dream won Best Milwaukee Band over about twenty other contestants. As a result, they advanced to the next round at The Metro in Chicago.
Additionally, collaboration with Grammy-award winning producer Stephen Short gave The Last Bees studio access and helped mold their incredible sound. Furthermore, Short worked intricately with Paul McCartney throughout the 1970s and bestowed wisdom and direction that helped The Last Bees immensely. Short founded Trident Studios, but his Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, Texas served as the primary location for Ash and the Dream’s highly-touted and well received album, “California Cauliflower.”
During a dispute, Short helped the group gain the masters to their old song based on the strength of his name. When he could not carry on with studio efforts due to colon cancer in 2013, his teachings remained with Ash and helped a great deal in terms of musical arrangement and ways to compile an album in the most impactful way.
The Dream becomes The Last Bees
Eventually, Ash dropped “The Dream” title and transformed their collective into the unified band we know today as, “The Last Bees.” Ash, in addition to singing, plays piano and guitar and is also a private music teacher. Chivo is the bassist, sings backing vocals and is also a cook at a corporate cafeteria. Brian Farvour plays the drums and is also a talent placement specialist. They are incredibly organic, spontaneous and refreshing. They pride themselves on youthful sounds that display vulnerability, nostalgia with a nod to the British Invasion. Their version of “All You Need is Love” is supplied in the form of positive, uplifting musical releases.
The Last Bees accentuate themes of love, heartbreak, perseverance and positivity. They encourage listeners to seek the truth within themselves and reflect on what motivates people’s behavior. The Last Bees express universal emotions in a way that has rarely been articulated before through strong clever songwriting, mid-tempo ballads, catchy choruses, sensational sounds, good vibrations and connections. They mix up the philosophy of modern song composition by keeping their tracks concise in order to pack a punch on every record. Their impact stays fresh on the listeners’ mind and never disappoints in person or on wax.
It is a culmination of things that makes The Last Bees especially resonant with audiences. Every time they embark on a musical journey, they release bursts of energy through honey-sweet melodies. The Last Bees are moving quickly into first with modern sonic textures, freshness and vibrant performances. They explore the depths of effervescence, the glow and jangle of the 1960s all the while keeping things original and developing their own distinct sound. With a casual and rollicking nature, they stroll through their performances in a way that is smooth as silk and proves to be incredibly engaging.
Check out their most recent self-titled EP and get hip to these catchy Wisconsin crooners.