After her hugely acclaimed debut album Songs For The Ravens, Sea of Bees – a.k.a. Sacramento-born and -based Julie Ann Baenziger – returns with a stunning new album, ‘Orangefarben’.
With many of the instruments (drums included) played by Jules (as everyone calls her), Orangefarben is a more unified and mature work, rooted in the primary colors of guitar, bass and drums, but including marimba, strings and pedal steel too. From deliciously upbeat (“Girl”) to mellotron-lined mystery (“Smile”), from swarthy passion (“Alien”) to ambient and tranquil (“Grew”), the album sits comfortably with Sea Of Bees’ primary influences (Bright Eyes, Sigur Rós, Joanna Newsom, Sunny Day Real Estate frontman Jeremy Enigk). But given Baenziger’s spine-tingling voice and her equally distinctive songwriting style, it only sounds like Sea Of Bees.
Orangefarben – German for ‘the color of orange’ – comprises ten original songs and an equally heart-tugging cover of John Denver’s “Leaving On A Jet Plane” that plays a special part in the story behind the album. It’s a classic break-up record, recalling Jules’ former relationship with the woman she used to call… yes, Orangefarben, which unfortunately did not survive the year. The album is anything but maudlin however, as fired up by the discovery and wonder of love as the sadness of its passing.