Composed for the 2009 documentary Vanishing of the Bees, a film investigating “Colony Collapse Disorder”, The Effective Disconnect by Stars of the Lid’s Brian McBride is an eleven track ode to the lives of those winged pollinators we take for granted, but whose lives are intertwined with our own. The album revolves around four themes: the gloriousness of the bees, the endurance and hardships of traditional beekeepers, pesticides and the holistic nature of non-industrial agriculture.
There are moments when the music hums with the same vibratory energy heard around a hive (opposed to the volatile buzz of a swarm, which I’ve had to outrun on numerous occasions while hiking/trail running), while also evoking images of the solitary worker swaying steadfast upon a single bloom. If asked to describe the album’s sound, I’d reply with a visual description: a warm summer day’s sunset glowing and shining through the sides of heavy drapery. You can feel the warmth and beauty fading from imagined moments as the album progresses through an auditory narrative, producing images that feel as vivid as the notes sound. Though I’ve yet to watch Vanishing of the Bees, I feel like I’ve already “seen” half of it through these songs. Highly recommended for the drone and ambient music set (pardon the pun).