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Sea of Bees

Self-trained instrumentalist Julie Ann Baenziger crafts freak-folk influenced by short stories, real-life friendships and Bon Iver

Hailing from a small-town in Sacremento, Sea Of Bees aka Julie Ann Baenziger makes a living as a multi-instrumentalist with her lulling voice, honest song-writing, and unique strain of ‘Freak-folk’ as she likes to call it. Before she releases her debut album ‘Song For The Ravens’ on Heavenly Recordings next February, she will embark on a tour with John Grant – her next steps after a support slot with Smoke Fairies. Backed by Rough Trade as one of the female voices of 2010, the self-trained marimba, glockenspiel and slide guitar player, puts her influences from rebels, nomads, short stories to films, and the beloved people in her life, into her album. Citing references from local Sacramento band The Honeytrees, to Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, she works with an off-kilter folk sound, at times a sorrowful lament, at others brimming with hope.

WHAT'S… special about you, then? 

I try to be myself, but sometimes I don’t know always who that is;  I’m still figuring out this beautiful, chaotic, ugly, inspiring, painful, good life, and its a special journey to go on.

...your worst vice?

Smoking kills but it calms my nerves. Looking at beautiful women, but still having my first dreamy love on my mind. Weed isn’t a vice?.. but some think so..

…the story behind your name?

My name is originally Julie Ann Baenziger, my last name is German and a lot of people could never say it right, so I just thought I would make it easier for them to call me Julie Ann Bee. I love my last name but when I started doing small little acoustic sets around town, I came up with the name Sea Of Bees. Some called me Sea Of Geez and Sea Of Beers, but I really like Sea Of Bees, It’s more me.

...your worst fashion secret?

Mmm, I used to wear Abercrombie? Soo weird. I remember when I was 13 I asked my Mum to buy me a sweater that was 75 bucks... It was originally 200 and something, I hate the thought of it... You live and you learn.

... good for breakfast?

I do dig breakfast burritos. Black beans, brown rice, eggs, a really nice sausage from the local natural foods store. I feel rich like a king. the top of your shit list?

Mindless people, but you can’t waste your energy or time on the thought of them.

..are you listening to now?

Mostly Bright Eyes and Beach House.. I love true stories, I love fables. I also like the hope in Beach House and the cautionary tales.

How would you describe your work?

Experimental and fun. My friend John and I collaborate so, I think you would call it fun... I dunno. Yeah.

Songs For The Ravens’ is released on Heavenly Recordings on 7 February 2011.