Lee Aulson has been buzzing around Portland creative scenes for years, hosting open mics, making fine art, rocking stages with her folk duo Bevelers, and now going full “ballad-surf rock on everyone” with her latest project: Lee and the Bees.
Those bees include many busy local musicians like Jeremiah Brunnhoelzl of Arlo Indigo on guitar, Ben Dahmes of Roselit Bone on drums, Skyler Hamler on keys, and Anden Oquendo on bass, who’s been known to share the stage with comedian Aaron Ross for his live talk show Who's the Ross?
Aulson’s debut, Feel Feelings, under this moniker even features an additionally spectacular supporting cast of Vaughn Liekam (Autonomics) offering his bass prowess and Cameron Spies (Night Heron, Radiation City) on production. Recorded at Revolver and Gold Brick Studios and mastered by Gus Elg at Sky Onion Mastering, it’s nine slow-burning pop tracks that definitely do, sonically, feel like surfy, “happy fun times,” as one of the Bandcamp tags denotes.
“My background is in fine art and somehow I have found myself deconstructing poetry into three-minutes pop song lyrics,” Aulson says. Halfway through Feel Feelings, we have the horn-filled “Anything”—thanks to Ryan Wiggans of And And And on trumpet.
“I wrote it originally as a solo song about young love and heartbreak,” she tells. “It’s about not being able to share a story with someone because they’re not around, moved to a different state, or you broke up with them. It was one of the first actual songs I wrote about 10 years ago.”
Precisely happy fun times! But during the recording session, Aulson says it was a song that she really felt like “it just came from the heart.” And today, we present a live (hornless) recording of “Anything” that “took place in a basement space called Cat-Man-Do on a hot summer day.”