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Songs for the Ravens

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Album Review

Sea of Bees is the name chosen by one-woman band Julie Ann Baenziger for her recording projects. Baenziger grew up in California's central valley and didn't get interested in playing music until she was in her mid-teens, although a crush on a girl singer in her church choir did make her aware of music's power to sooth and wound the open heart. Baenziger eventually taught herself guitar, bass, piano, and various percussion instruments. Indie producer John Baccigaluppi, and publisher of Tape Op magazine, heard her playing in an empty recording studio and was impressed by the fragile quality of her vocals and the quiet beauty of her songs. He taught her how to use Pro-Tools and she cut her first record, Bee Eee Pee EP, in one afternoon. The EP's low-key charm got her a deal with Crossbill, and the 11-track album, Songs for the Ravens, is the result. Baenziger still plays most of the instruments on this recording, but had some help from a posse of noted indie rockers including Vetiver's Andy Cabic and Grandaddy's James Neil. The tunes are an eclectic bunch sporting cryptic names. "Skinnybone" is a sweet love song highlighted by twinkling glockenspiel and warm, multi-tracked harmony vocals: the bouncy beat of "Sidepain" takes some of the sting away from a lyric that details a night spent in brokenhearted drunkenness; "Fyre" is a song of yearning passion that drowns in a sea of staccato guitar and ambient noise; and the quiet folk rock of "Wizbot" makes it another song of unattainable love that starts out with acoustic guitar and Baenziger's quietly distressed vocal and builds slowly to a wrenching climax. The lo-fi production often makes Baenziger's laments hard to decipher, but her delicate voice drips with a heartache and loneliness that makes the tunes hard to resist. ~ j. poet, Rovi

Customer Reviews

The Bees Knees!

Awesome voice, watched her live last night, had to buy the album.

Biography

Formed: Sacramento, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Marked by charm and introspection, Sea of Bees is the folk-seasoned indie pop project of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Julie Baenziger. Raised in California's Central Valley, she taught herself guitar, piano, percussion, and more instruments beginning in her teens, eventually self-recording the first Sea of Bees release, 2009's Bee Eee Pee, in a single afternoon. After signing with Crossbill Records in the U.S., she followed up the EP in 2010 with the critically well-received full-length...
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Songs for the Ravens, Sea of Bees
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