Sea of Bees at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen
The Hoxton Square Kitchen and Bar was taken back in time on Thursday 19th April. Wholly different to the electronic dance music currently gracing the charts, the Sea of Bees’ concert created a feel of stepping back to the 1970s Hippie Woodstock era. Peace and love was swarming throughout the audience as Sea of Bees — led by frontwoman Julie Ann Bee, or Jules, as everyone calls her — hit the stage of the intimate venue. Sporting a feathered haircut, a sweater vest and corduroy trousers — a combo that could put the likes of Pink Floyd to shame! — Queen Bee Jules and her bearded bandmates performed an impressive mix of melodic tracks from Sea of Bees new album Songs for the Ravens.
The crowd’s initial applause faded to an eerie silence of rapt and unshakeable attention as Sacramento singer-songwriter Jules began to sing; something both enchanting and surprising to behold. Her child-like, haunting vocals demand nothing short of absolute awe, and the crowds stillness quickly became blisteringly lucid. You could not talk, for fear of shattering the Sea of Bees’ spellbinding atmosphere.
Mixing the genres of Folk and Rock with New-Age sounds, the Sea of Bees strum epic melodies, quiet and subtle, yet piercing and moving. They create a sound which ultimately strips back the stress and pollution of city life to bring us back to a more pure, natural and undemanding time.
Along with this sense of nature, there is also an inextricable and heightened awareness of emotion that comes through many of the tracks. “I wrote this for my brother who fell in love with a girl. I love my brother and I was happy for him. This song is about that.” Clearly Jules’ songs are drawn from genuine sentiment, something that comes through both the authenticity of the lyrics and the passion of her performance.
Jules’ ability to conjure a magnificent echoing effect is down to the incredible control she has over her vocals, which were never screechy or overdone on the night. As she sings — eyes closed, mouth to the microphone — it is as if she is transported into another world through her lyrics; some happy, and some about the agony of losing a loved one: a stark juxtaposition that pushes emotions to their limits.
An exquisite performance that reaffirmed the power of emotional virtue as an artist’s most compelling tool to transcend barriers and produce an touching, beautiful sound.
Songs for the Ravens, the new album from Sea of Bees, is out now.
Experience the haunting voice of the Queen Bee, Jules, in Skinnybone here: