SUNFLOWER BEAN – ” Headful of Sugar “

Posted: May 8, 2022 in MUSIC

Hearing the opening track on Sunflower Bean’s new album “Headful of Sugar”, it would be understandable if you felt like you’d stepped onto the set of a high-speed crime caper, with dollar bills flying in the air after a dramatic heist. “Who Put You Up to This?,” is a neon-lit single punctuated by soaring riffs, is the perfect introduction to the trio’s third record, as Julia Cumming, Nick Kivlen, and Olive Faber charge headfirst into taking risks.

This was part of Sunflower Bean’s mentality when the record came together, Cumming explains “I think taking risks for big rewards is a theme on the record, for sure,” she says. “Even with putting out this record, I think we tried to take a lot of risks with our sound. You never know how they’re gonna pay off, but you take a chance because it’s what you believe you should do.”

The band spent the recent period of forced confinement mostly with each other, resulting in the trio not only emerging as a more confident version of themselves, but also, consequently, with their most adventurous album to date. Over the course of “Headful of Sugar”, Sunflower Bean embrace both rock and pop music in a much bolder fashion than before; their riffs never seem to miss a mark, and the slick, cinematic stylings match the fictional and personal narratives found throughout. Take “In Flight,” where they embrace the fleeting nature of existence: “Life is short and the cliffs are high / I don’t have to close my eyes to see us in flight,” Kivlen sings.

A huge part of the band veering in this direction was Faber taking the reins when engineering the album, allowing Sunflower Bean to find out more about themselves, as Kivlen explains. “We trusted ourselves completely for the first time by deciding that we were going to record everything and demo everything [ourselves]. We were just trusting that we could do it, and that’s so important. I think that helped us play our instruments better. You have to figure out how to speak your own voice to the fullest.” 

For the recording of the new album, they consciously kept things small. “We wanted to create this little quarantine group,” Kivlen continues. “We tried to create a sort of energy like we were at a party when we recorded. It was very much like everyone walking around the house doing whatever you want—listening to music really loud, drinking, eating, whatever—and just trying to foster this insular environment.”

“It’s an honour to be a New York band, especially right now—there’s a really new, exciting energy in the city. I feel more proud than ever.”

“Another big theme on the record is letting go,” Cumming says. “I think because of the lack of control that we had in our lives, on our work [during the pandemic], I think it definitely gave us more of an interest in celebrating the unknown and stepping out of our past selves.” Adds Kivlen, “There are a lot of lyrics about going out and meeting people, or going to the airport and flying somewhere new. It’s about just having this sort of lust for life that we didn’t have before.”

Sunflower Bean’s new album ‘Headful of Sugar’ out May 6th.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.