A debut album full of personal reflection, pop sensibilities and an accent that will challenge most.
Bee Mick See hit my radar back in May last year when he not only performed as a support act for MC Lars in London but formed part of the live band for Malibu Shark Attack on the same billing. A self deprecating figure on stage, he explained how his childhood was turned on its head when his family relocated from America to Belfast. The aptly titled The Belfast Yank feels very much like a cathartic process as the feelings of upheaval, change and ultimate acceptance are laid out over eleven tracks. It’s not a maundering experience though. The Belfast Yank is sharp, witty and humourous for the most part – interesting and unique throughout and may prove a challenge to many as ‘Mick’ (not only a name but also a slang term for the Irish) carries a prominent Irish brogue. By way of an introduction the opening track Belfast Slang serves as a translatory tutorial that doesn’t shy away from the most course of language.
With a blend of hip-hop, pop and punk forming an upbeat feel to the album, the lyrics somehow form an interesting juxtaposition throughout much of the release. With titles like Awkward and Stress you might expect a bleak listening experience, yet the delivery of the vocals holds a mischievous tone that somehow rounds off the sharp edges without diminishing the sincerity of the lyrics. What really stands out is that every track is extremely well presented both instrumentally and vocally. Guest vocals come from Tribe One on Stress with MC Lars providing a verse on the same track as well as collaborating on the album closer Natural Scents.
Picking a standout track from an album completely bereft of weak songs should be a more tricky prospect, yet one caught my attention immediately and I’ve had it stuck in my head ever since. Perhaps offering the most obvious reference to his move across the Atlantic Ocean, We Took A Dive is lyrically intriguing, musically powerful and holds some kind of dark magic in its hook that simply won’t leave my brain.
Although The Belfast Yank has been officially released, I’m at a bit of a loss as to where you can find it online. Bee Mick See‘s bandcamp page draws a blank, and only a couple of tracks can be found on his soundcloud page. Having emailed me a review copy I’ve not had a response as to where the album is officially for sale. I suggest bugging the man on twitter or facebook for an answer, it’s worth the effort, The Belfast Yank is a cracker!
You can hear We Took A Dive on The Mixtape #6 | Music For Nerds podcast from The Unheard Nerd or by hitting play below.