[1 September 2010]
Julie Ann Bee creates music under the Sea of Bees moniker, with help from a constantly-shifting array of backing musicians. Songs are built around Bee’s swooping, girlish voice, an instrument reminiscent of The Innocence Mission’s Karen Peris in both tone and cadence. Fans of such childlike female vocalists will be intrigued; others may find the sound tiresome. Tunes like “Gnomes” and “Marmalade” utilize Bee’s warble to good effect, as her playful voice is supported by muscular rhythms and convincing layers of rumbling percussion and scratchy guitar. Other songs feel slight: “Fyre” and “Won’t Be Long” rely too heavily on layered harmonies rather than melody or memorable arrangements. Overall, the compelling outweighs the tedious. This CD release also includes a digital copy of the Bee Eee Pee EP, containing five songs, two of which are not included on the full-length.