Becca Mancari Shares “Homesick Honeybee”

Puerto Rican-Italian Nashville-based musician Becca Mancari (they/them) recently announced their third album, Left Hand, due out this August 25th via Captured Tracks. Mancari has already shared two previews of the record to critical acclaim, including lead single and queer joy anthem “Over and Over” featuring Julien Baker, and the more guitar-forward “Don’t Even Worry,” written, produced and performed with Brittany Howard. 

Mancari shares another taste of Left Handwith “Homesick Honeybee,” a tender ode to their grandfather, whose voicemail opens the track and who was the first member of their family to wholly accept Mancari’s queerness. Becca shares more about the song and their relationship with their grandfather below:

“‘Homesick Honeybee’ came from a technique I practiced during the making of ‘Left Hand’: Whenever I felt stuck in my writing process, I would pull out my 1980s Webster dictionary and scan through sections at a time. One day, I landed on the H’s, and both “homesick” and “honeybee” were words that lingered with me. I wondered; Could a bee actually be homesick? So, I did some reading and learned how a bee cannot survive for very long when it’s separated from its hive. Even if it finds another hive, the bees will not accept them into their colony because they smell different than the rest of them. 

In some ways, this song is about my own homesickness; trying to find a place to call my home. The beginning of the song starts with a voicemail from my 93-year-old grandpa who was the first elder in my family to accept me unconditionally as a queer person. One time when he was visiting my parents, he quite literally asked me to “sneak” him out of their house in order to finally meet my partner of many years. In his words, “God is love and there is nothing that could separate him from me.” I think for years I starved my heart from love, for fear of being hurt again and again. But with one perfect act of love from my grandfather I learned how to build a home of my own, and to trust and love myself enough to let my broken heart finally start to mend.”

Throughout the album’s twelve tracks, Mancari asserts a radical self-acceptance. Left Hand is named for the Mancari family crest from the Italian region of Calabria in which a left hand holds a dagger aloft. After a lifetime spent feeling like they didn’t belong, Mancari unlocked a perfect metaphor in the crest: “In many cultures children born with a dominant left hand were taught not to use that hand, and were told that using the right hand was ‘normal’ and ‘correct.’ Similarly, queer children are often times told that it’s not ‘normal’ for them to love who they love and that they need to ‘change.’” 

Left Hand came out of a dark period in Mancari’s life, yet the joyous, self-produced album is anything but. Wide-open and welcoming, the music beckons all listeners, encouraging community among strangers. To that end, Mancari surrounded themself with some friends and long-time collaborators for the making of Left Hand. The album was largely co-produced with Juan Solorzano, who has played on all of Mancari’s records, and was mixed by Carlos de la Garza, the producer of Paramore’s last record. Daniel Tashian (Kacey Musgraves, Demi Lovato) also co-wrote and co-produced one track. The album also features trusted friends like Brittany Howard, who Mancari plays with in Bermuda Triangle, as well as Julien Baker and Paramore’s Zac Farro.

Mancari recently announced a support tour with Joy Oladokun, and a handful of headline dates. Today they announce additional Fall headline shows. These upcoming dates include shows in NYC at Baby’s All Right on 9/28, Los Angeles at The Echo on 11/9, a hometown show in Nashville on 10/6 at Blue Room/Third Man Records, plus gigs in Washington DC, Philly, Boston, Toronto, and much more. Tickets are on sale Friday, July 28 at 10am local.

09/10 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall*

09/12 – Kansas City, MO – The Truman*

09/13 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall*

09/14 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall*

09/19 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel*

09/20 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle*

09/22 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground*

09/23 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater*

09/24 – Washington, DC – The Howard*

9/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry

9/27 – Boston, MA @ Deep Cuts

9/28 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right

9/30 – Montreal, QUE @ Pop Montreal

10/1 – Toronto, ONT @ The Drake Hotel

10/2 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe

10/3 – Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe

10/6 – Nashville, TN @ Blue Room at Third Man Records

10/26 – Louisville, KY @ Whirling Tiger

10/28 – Davenport, IA @ Raccoon Motel 

10/29 – Minneapolis, MN @ Icehouse

11/1 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

11/2 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux 

11/4 –  Seattle, WA @ Barboza

11/5 – Portland, OR @ Mission Theater

11/7 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord

11/9 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo

11/11 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah

11/12 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room

11/13 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress

11/15 – Austin, TX @ Ballroom at Spider House 

11/16 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall

11/17 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada 

*supporting Joy Oladokun

Photo Courtesy: Shervin Lainez