Nutrition On Tape – Queen Bee EP

Nutrition On Tape - Queen Bee EP

Nutrition On Tape - Queen Bee EP

Here’s an interesting one: Nutrition On Tape consists of Matt Howley, an Australian in London, and his keyboards, samplers, and drum machines. His Queen Bee EP shows in four songs that he has a way with pleasantly engaging compositions. The nicest thing about his tracks is that they’re unassuming and often warm, without the indulgences that tend to hamper a lot of solo works in this field. It’s easy to go off the rails when there’s no band-based editorial process in place. 

The song “Queen Bee Can’t Stop Me” has an organic-yet-electronic glow to it reminiscent of China Crisis during its Difficult Shapes era. Its stiff, cold beats belie the fluidity of the song as a whole. It’s mid-song breakdown has the vocal ahhs of a 70s AM radio hit before it relapses back into its sharp-cornered rhythms. It’s a high-rise skyline that opens onto a blue sky. “Fire Dog Wax Apple” doesn’t have quite the same soft center, though, and it’s a bit mechanistic the way Ratatat can be mechanistic.

“One Sun One” has more flow to it, but its vocals have an off-putting effect to them. They’ve been electronically treated in a way that makes them a little bit incongruous with the music going on around them. By contrast, “Where Everything Works” has a lilting and breezy ambience that just works. Its Caribou-like form and tonality — its mix of textures and feeling — serve it well. “Where Everything Works” tones down the drum machines and lets everything breathe. It’s captivating. With more tracks like it and like “Queen Bee Can’t Stop Me,” where Nutrition On Tape shows some of its heart, the upcoming album could be a winner.