Led by Russian singer/songwriter/keyboardist Angelina Moysov, Persephone's Bees (a name that comes from a poem by Russian poet Osip Mandelstam) had its beginnings soon after Moysov moved to the United States and met guitarist Tom Ayres in 1993. The two began collaborating, drawing from Moysov's childhood influences of Russian folk, Gypsy music, her brother's collection of British and American music, new wave, and underground Russian punk. After the duo went through several unsuccessful rhythm sections, they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1999. There they made a demo and used it to recruit bassist Bart Davenport and drummer Paul Bertolino.
Following City of Love, a self-produced LP, Persephone's Bees found themselves on bills with Cake and Jonathan Richman, while the title track was added to the soundtrack for the film Bewitched in 2005. Both Bertolino and Davenport had left the band temporarily to focus on other projects, but eventually rejoined in time for Persephone's Bees' full-length major-label debut record, Notes from the Underworld, released by Columbia Records in August 2006. ~ Kenyon Hopkin