Head here to submit your own review of this album.

Under-celebrated but always a charm, Californian songwriter Julie Ann Baenziger, aka Sea of Bees, returns for her third album, still full of big-spirited, indie-pop melodies and humble, dreamy confessionals.

Though 'Jules' was a bit broken-hearted on last outing Orangefarben (2012), she strikes a more reflective and defiant mood on new work Build A Boat To The Sun. From the off she comes out full of chirp and wonder, vowing to push on and look within inside herself on sugar sweet opener 'Test Yourself' - "Go down to the belly of the deepest hell/ You might find who you are/ It's a start - fall apart."

Raised in a small, conservative town north of Sacramento, she was only allowed to listen to Christian praise songs and U2 records as a kid, and things got difficult when she started to have feelings for some of the choir girls. Her struggle to break free from an environment disapproving of her sexuality has been a regular theme for her angst, but she's never been a bitter, tortured axe grinder. Instead her coming-of-age stories are set against jangly, West Coast, sun gazing and open-book, folk-rock grooves.

'Old Bridge' in particular is a hazy, wistful piece of nostalgic diary-telling that transports to idyllic settings and comforts with its lulling, gentle soul, whilst 'Don't Follow Me' speaks to universal confusion and self-doubt. The meandering, freewheeling continues on the gorgeous 'Little Sea', before the stripped-back 'Moline' casts a raw, haunting shadow and album closer 'Monk' really delves into a dark-of-the-night, bottom-of-the-barrel serenade that captures Baenziger at her most mournful and beaten.

Overall though the feeling is of upbeat, personal discovery, and generally she sees the world with an unrelenting sense of wide-eyed beauty. The album ends up sounding like some sort of collision between Elliot Smith and The Mamas and the Papas with Baenziger emerging from her natural shyness as a compelling and loveable character with a talent for elegant, cathartic songwriting. It may struggle for attention-grabbing fireworks, but Build a Boat to the Sun is completely endearing.

This is the place you'll find reviews from 405 Readers. To join in, head here.