Sea of Bees on Her Music Videos, True Love, and Being Labeled “Queer”

The women of the Bay Area music scene are breaking rules and defying expectations. Lass Out Loud is a new column exploring their lives and work.

Julie Ann Baenziger, aka Sea of Bees, has one of the most compelling and unique voices I've heard in years. Her indie folk-pop evokes a response from more than just one of the five senses. It's warm, it's soft, it's palpable. It's music that not only touches you, but music you can touch. Sea of Bees opens for Wye Oak this Friday at the Independent as part of Noise Pop.

Jules played most of the instruments on Sea of Bees' debut Songs for the Ravens, which was named in NPR's All Songs Considered Top Ten Albums of 2010 list. She spent a good portion of 2010 and 2011 on tour in the U.S. and Europe, a far cry from where she started just a few years ago. Brought up in a strict religious household, Baenziger was herself only recently out of the closet when her album came out. Pegged early on by LGBTQ publications as a “queer” musician, Baenziger isn't as quick to label herself.

“We're all a bit queer, aren't we? It's just a matter of admitting it to ourselves,” she laughs. “I identify as a person who falls in love. Like a little boy falls in love with a girl, or a little girl falls in love with a boy, or a little girl who falls in love with a little girl, or a little boy who falls in love with a little boy, I just fall in love. And it is what it is. I'm not so bright when it comes to knowing all these names. Maybe if somebody examined me and they're like, 'Oh! You're queer, lesbian, transgender, that's what you are.' I don't identify as anything except a person who believes in the right to be in love.”

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