Frog Eyes called it quits in 2018, but Carey Mercer has brought it back, and the current lineup of the band -- including Carey's wife, Melanie Campbell (drums) and Shyla Seller (keyboards), who were both in Carey's recent Soft Plastics group -- will release new album The Bees on April 29 via Paper Bag. “Mel and I worked together to find our old energy, that push-pull trainwreck hustle we used to boogie to,” says Carey.

The first single from the album is "When You Turn On the Light," and it sounds like that "push-pull trainwreck hustle" is indeed still going. Carey says the song is partially about when he 21 and living in Vancouver, and a fresco he had painted on his bedroom wall. You can read his story about that, and watch a lyric video for the song, below.

Carey Mercer on "When You Turn On the Light""

I never made music when I was 21. I wanted to be a painter. I lived in an apartment with friends in Vancouver, and my room was full of cans of toxic enamel-marine paint. I would wake up at 3:30 p.m. and paint on my bedroom wall, this crazed fresco, a hellish umber landscape that glittered street light reflections from the enamel paint. I had to sleep by my open window because the fumes were atrocious, and I started to deteriorate, but the fresco was really coming along.

Some of the roommates were amazing musicians, some of them passed away. I think the song “When You Turn on the Light” describes walking into my bedroom in that apartment.

One time I came home from a late afternoon walk and the building manager was standing in my bedroom looking at the painting with a look of wonder but also fear, and the fear turned to anger when I walked in. She kept her food in our fridge because her roommate kept stealing her cream cheese, and we used to dread the sound of her key turning in our lock. But it meant we could eat her cream cheese. When she confronted me about the fresco, I told her I was enriching the apartment and lied about my standing in the world, describing upcoming shows in Milan and Turin. And Toronto, for believability. She left and we were evicted a bit later but I think it had more to do with other things and not just the fresco.

frog eyes the bees
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The Bees tracklist:
01 Rainbow Stew
02 The Bees
03 When You Turn on the Light
04 I Was an Oligarch
05 He’s a Lonely Song
06 A Speck of Dust
07 Scottish Wine
08 A Rhyme for the Star
09 Here Is a Place to Stop
10 Everything Dies

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