If you believe record execs and label chatter, Greg Kurstin and Inara George – The Bird and The Bee, respectively we imagine – shouldn’t really be making indie-pop. It is, after all, largely the domain of synth-driven upstarts or hipster bands that want to somehow become the next stadium-fillers or ad soundtrack, rather than two 40+ family types who just make twee and endearing music.
Ironically, their new new record Recreational Love starts with a song called Young and Dumb, which is part nostalgia and partly the wisdom that comes with age (themes that generally run throughout the record). Through all of Kurstin’s blips and squeaks, George remains a solid performer and delivers choruses with so much brilliant abandon that it’s hard not to just fuck it all, throw your hands up and join her. It happens again on the new-age R&B vibe of the title track – an outstanding highlight by any yardstick – and the triumphant body-mover Will You Dance (with the delightful line “I don’t care if people stare, people stare at all the wrong things”).
It may not be groundbreaking by any means, but Kurstin and George (half-tempted to finish that with ‘crime fighters of the sea’) fill their craft with so much heart, passion, and – most importantly – plain old fun that it’s hard to dislike. It’s best summed up in their look-back track Runaway, where George sings about “acting out like someone half our age”. That youthful spirit outdoes most of their younger peers and very much remains present throughout Recreational Love, an album that you’ll come to for leisure but stay with because you’re having such a damn good time.
Recreational Love by The Bird and The Bee can be ordered here.