Sea of Bees – Broke (Single Review)


“Broke”, by Sea of Bees, the personal project of Julie Ann Bee, is fantastical folksy lyrics layered onto 1990’s Brit Pop, and the video for the single is a gentle reminder of the simple stylings of 1960#s press shoots. Set in a gorgeous countryside setting, the video uses still shots and slow capture to get a jerky, uneven quality to some of the more descriptive scenes, making them stand out and stick in the mind. As singer/ songwriter Jules already has a deeply androgynous look, the footage of her is in keeping with her appearance, making it hard to decide her gender without resorting to google to confirm. This suits the song perfectly, as the music mixes male and female vocals and the subject matter of the song is truly universal. This single promises great things from it’s parent album, “Orangefarben”.

The video for “Broke” has a very 60’s feel to it, both with the styling of the wardrobe for Jules and the slow fading used to blend the backgrounds. The primary vehicles for the music – Jules singing and playing her guitar, Jules writing on a clear plastic “window” to give a backwards view of her world – take the watcher on the song’s journey. Avoiding the storytelling style, instead the watcher feels the music as moments of images with the warmth of the scenery highlighting the chill of the lyrics. Engaging on a visual level, Jules herself is fascinating to watch as she shifts between a masculine and feminine appearance depending on which part of the song is heard, and at which angle her face is captured. The music does not risk being lost in the visuals, instead it is completed by them.


Becca Jones

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