Sea of Bees - Songs for the Ravens (2010)

Sea of Bees is the best thing I’ve discovered so far this year. Code name of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Julie Bee (Baenziger), Sea of Bees is a one-woman act whose debut LP, "Songs For The Ravens", has left me spellbound. No kidding, I was thisclose to a car accident this morning because I was zoning out to the insane lilting harmonies of “Willis.”

It’s hard to believe that Songs For The Ravens is Bee’s first full-length. She displays such technical mastery and her musical arrangements are exquisite — layers upon layers of wooshing piano, glockenspiel, slide, and marimba, with the ebb and flow of drums in the background. Some songs are sad, some are hopeful, some are pissed-but-trying-to-rise-above-it-through-this-beautiful-chorus-you-sucker. There are stompers and siren-songs, dark shadows and twinkling lights, intimate acoustic diary entries and anthemic electricity; it’s this smoothly blended diversity that keeps the album experience fresh and intriguing.

And her voice. Good grief, could anything be more enchanting? Imagine, if you can, Sherri DuPree of Eisley and Camila Grey of Uh Huh Her singing a duet. The control, range, sweeping tenderness and swelling force of those two voices are somehow trapped inside of Julie Bee. Restrained and then let loose at a moment’s notice, Bee seems to intuitively know just what to say and when to not say it, just humming or ahh-ing along with her gorgeous melodies to lull the listener into a calm-induced blackout … and a conversation with their Geico representative because of a mysterious crushed fender.

If you find you can’t get enough of Sea of Bees, check out her five-track Bee Eee Pee EP, which she recorded in one day right after learning how to use ProTools. This chick has got something.
Multi-instrumentalist Julie Baenziger hails from Grandaddy's stomping grounds, California's Central Valley, and like her onetime neighbors, she has an impeccable knack for infusing despair with charm. Her pain is the loveless kind, and she conveys it in a voice equal parts twang and coo, backed by lush country-folk and gossamer bedroom haze. "Skinnybone" sounds like it takes place inside of a music box; "Marmalade" in dense woods on a moonless night. A quick dip into glitch seems like a novice move, but all that slide guitar and glockenspiel give Sea of Bees a seasoned sorrow. (SPIN)

Sea of Bees
Songs for the Ravens
Album art: 
Release date: 

1. Gnomes
2. Skinnybone
3. Wizbot
4. Fyre
5. Marmalade
6. Willis
7. Won't Be Long
8. Strikefoot
9. The Gold
10. Sidepain
11. Blind

Music label: 
Mike Crossbill Records
United States
Average: 3.9 (15 votes)
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