PREMIERE: 'I Killed The Bees' an anthem for the activists by TYGERMYLK

Tony Rollinson
Friday, 22nd November 2019

Hundreds of thousands are engaging with climate protests and creative activism. Brighton-based indie-folk duo TYGERMYLK hit home with a new anthem for activists!

I Killed the Bees is inspired by our growing awareness of the unfolding climate crisis and Sixth Mass Extinction (billions of species have been lost over recent decades). It is a beguiling anthem for activists, with layers of spiralling vocals that raise the song above mere 'protest' into a more otherworldly experience. It is more an evocation of our personal feelings of 'what are we/what are we becoming' at this very particular moment. The haunting refrain “By killing the bees, we all killed the birds” makes this a classic tune that you will return to time and time again. This listener LOVES the superior modern-psychedelic production ... The music and the sound here are as much a part of the experience as the 'meaning'.

TYGERMYLK are Hayley Harland and Aurora Bennett. They had airplay on BBC Introducing (“beautifully moving”) and have appeared at venues around London and at Glastonbury and Isle of Wight Festivals. Hayley writes and produces while Aurora brings it to life with her beats.

The record was financed via a crowdfunding campaign which included exclusive rewards from TYGERMYLK and various supporting artists. Lithographer Robyn Lawrence contributed a
limited edition print, whilst a logo designed by Tom Jean Webb (also the cover artist) was available on T-shirts and tote bags. Appropriately bee-themed rewards included organic beeswax balm by Kisses From The Bees, and organic homegrown honey donated by Hayley's mother, Maddy Harland, the editor of Permaculture Magazine.

Climate activism is built into Hayley’s DNA - her mother Maddy has been a grower, activist and journalist, via Permaculture Magazine, on the subject and publishing books for over 28 years. She’s also a natural beekeeper. Hayley says, “I was staying in my childhood bedroom for a time and my mum is obsessed with bees, that’s all she talks about, so it’s no wonder it crept into my subconscious. The song was finished in about 20 minutes. I played it to Aurora the next day and was like - Can I really call it that? Aurora is a vegan and always keeping me on the straight and narrow so it immediately became her favourite of our songs.”

The track came about in as psychedelic a way as the production suggests. Hayley explains, “Around the time Extinction Rebellion began gaining momentum, I had a dream where this hive full of bees were my children (much like Khaleesi, mother of dragons but less glam) and I killed them all by eating too much honey. It was so real that I woke up in tears, full of regret. It’s kind of a perfect allegory for what’s going on with our planet, how our consumer culture is wrecking the beautiful world we live in. At the time I felt hopeless, like no matter what choices I make, no matter how many bags for life I use, we’d still all be f*cked… but the truth is, we’re all responsible for what happens next and the point of the song is to highlight our hypocrisies and galvanise people into real change.”

I Killed the Bees joins a growing lineage of performers, such as the Formidable Vegetable Sound System and Seize the Day, who have produced songs which act as a soundtrack to the recent wave of climate activism rising up across the world - a movement highlighted yesterday by Coldplay's announcement to cease touring shows which have a hugely negative carbon impact.

So, listen to this killer song, respond, support and get to see the band live soonest! Be part of the solution, not the problem. 5 stars out of 5.