Writing the ‘The Beekeeper’ was a little bit like trying to write a myth. I knew I wanted expansive lyrics; I wanted something epic, a subject that could support a dramatic piano line and layers of swooping strings. I tried to imagine what humanity might look like from afar: Sort of an ant-farm perspective on the way we work and love and live our lives. I made a few glancing references to Greek figures (Prometheus and the like), but the song really centers around the character of a beekeeper.
I imagined a tall and slender woman in a netted dress, armed with a pitcher full of smoke, who offers the comfort of sleep to the humans in the song, in the same way that beekeepers smoke their hives to sedate the bees during the collection of honey.
I write a lot of breakup songs, so the large scope of this one was challenging — lots of drafts, lots of cursing, lots of whiskey breaks. But I’m proud of the result. I think ‘The Beekeeper’ has reinvigorated me as a student — I want to learn more history, more science, more myth, so that I might eventually draw from those sources to write better, stranger, more interesting songs. – Dessa