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' to be released on 9th April on Heavenly Recordings.
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 colours 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 RÃ³s, 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 colour 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.
Raised in Roseville, a conservative suburb of Sacramento, California, in a religious household where only Christian rock was deemed fit fir purpose, Baenziger eventually broke free and started writing songs and playing house shows. She was soon discovered by John Baccigaluppi, owner of Hangar Studios, who provided the means to record her debut EP Bee Eee Pee, which led to Heavenly signing her and releasing Songs For The Ravens in February 2011 and now Orangefarben, both of which Baccigaluppi produced at Hangar. Over-brimming with hooks, as gutsy as they are intimate and delicate, Orangefarben is a major leap forward for Sea Of Bees, who will be heading out on tour as a full band through 2012, having already toured with the likes of John Grant, Smoke Fairies, Calexico and Vetiver.