Artist: Thao Album: We Brave Bee Stings And All Label: Kill Rock Stars Link: www.myspace.com/thaomusic Thao Nguyen has been creating folky/edgy pop for the last couple of years, with her debut album Like The Linen hitting the record stores back in 2005 but now she's back with her backing band The Get Down Stay Down to release the upbeat We Brave Bee Stings And All. There's nothing particularly groundbreaking about the 11 tracks that make up this record but it's hard not to smile when you hear the optimistic music from her backing band shaking hands with the child like innocence of Thao's vocals. That's not to say she doesn't have any authority over the songs because that's certainly not the case. Most of the time she comes across as a mix between Cat Power and Feist but a lot less serious, like she's constantly at a party having fun. Musically speaking she often gets categorized as a folky popster but i think the whole folk thing gets branded on any new female musician that didn't originally come out of a girl band. I like to think of her music as intelligent pop. The kind of pop that still makes you want to sing along but with a but more substance. This can be seen on 'Fear And Convenience' with it's African style guitar intro. Well not completely African but Vampire Weekend African. We Brave Bee Stings And All is a confident and solid release from a bright young female artist and i would recommend it to anyone! Highlight:  Fear And Convenience Rating: 7/10 Tracklisting: 1. Beat (Health, Life, and Fire) 2. Bag of Hammers 3. Big Kid Table 4. Swimming Pools 5. Geography 6. Feet Asleep 7. Yes, So On and So On 8. Fear and Convenience 9. Violet 10. Travel 11. We Go