Posts Tagged ‘Human Ceremony’


Perhaps the top band on my radar for the week , Sunflower Bean played the songs off of their engaging and interesting-at-every-turn debut “Human Ceremony” The band had the same luster that they have on the album. While Julia Cumming’s gorgeous voice is a standout on the record, it was Nick Kivlen’s off-into-space guitar musings that might slip past you if you don’t see this band live. Drummer Jacob Faber was frenetic and it became clear what a balanced three-piece the New York band is. The best moments were when the vocals stopped and the trio ventured into instrumental explorations—none better than the final stretch of “I Was Home.” Through their own breed of psych rock,


The New York trio have made quite a splash this year with their effervescent mix of 90s indie (grunge rock and something more ethereal) and 60s psychedelia. As songs from their debut album, Human Ceremony, veer off into cosmic jams, they sound like an unlikely mix of celestial 90s indie kids Lush and summer of love-era Jefferson Airplane.

Much of the former comes from lead vocalist/bassist Julia Cumming, whose ferocious performance contrasts with the pastoral sweetness of her singing. Guitarist Nick Kivlen – all curly moptop and patterned shirts could have stepped straight from a 60s .

With drummer Jacob Faber thrashing away behind, this threesome make a spectacle as Cumming prowls around her bandmate, grins at the crowd and often leaps into the throng while playing. “This is such fun,” she yells as their set flits from the beautiful guitar shapes of Human Ceremony . Check out their Limited Edition 12″ of covers now only available at their gig I’m afraid.

From The Basement is a 4 song EP featuring cover versions of songs originally by The Modern Lovers, Neil Young, Spiritualized and T-Rex. Pressed on clear green vinyl, it’s limited to 500 copies worldwide.


Sunflower Bean are
Jacob Faber
Julia Cumming
Nick Kivlen

“Come On” by Sunflower Bean, Having turned heads earlier this year with debut album Human Ceremony, New York’s Sunflower Bean return for the End Of the Road Man festival next month before playing a UK tour in September.
From Human Ceremony [Fat Possum Records]


Listening to the debut album from Brooklyn trio Sunflower Bean is a bit like flipping through some smart stoner’s impeccably refined record collection. All the correct drone-rock references are present: the Velvet Underground at their beachiest, the Autobahn liftoff of vintage Seventies Kraut-rock, the Eighties drug-punk of Spaceman 3, recent garage-grind aesthetes like Ty Segall, and the entire college-jangle canon from early R.E.M. to the Smiths to Real Estate and beyond. Sunflower Bean take these influences and shape them like Silly Putty into sweet, ingenious psych-pop songs that are more economical and compact than you’d expect from a band whose hottest tune is called “Wall Watcher.” There’s New York dripping out of every pore of this record, its hip, it’s arty and oozes catchy melodies from start to finish.

Formed in Brooklyn in 2013, Sunflower Bean, the hardest working band in New York state, released last year an acclaimed EP, Show Me Your Seven Secrets.
This debut album, Human Ceremony, co-produced by the band and Matthew Molnar, delivers on that initial promise.
A heady mix of psychedelic harmonies, 80s tinged jangle pop, and straight ahead power pop, it features a host of great tunes, high quality instrumentation, and delicious vocals.

What marks them out as future stars, other than their striking physical appearance (singer and bassist Julia Cumming, 19, has modeled for Yves Saint Laurent, while 20 year old Nick Kivlen bears more than a passing resemblance to the young Bob Dylan), is the power and confidence in their delivery of the material.
The lyrics are winsome, and varied in their subject matter

Psych Out: Say No To Creation Nostalgia

Easier Said,” the lead single from Sunflower Bean’s debut album release  “Human Ceremony”, just so happens to be Julia Cumming’s favorite. “It’s the one that I feel closest to lyrically and conceptually and I’m really proud that we did it.” She told i-D in our Pre-Spring issue. The song is about “some feelings last Winter. We were all out of school and just working on the band. And sometimes when you’re in the thick of the music scene and everyone’s trying really hard, it can seem kind of bleak… it’s just a little reflective on myself and ourselves and the scene around us.”

Shot entirely on film, the accompanying visuals are full of aesthetically pleasing ritualistic pagan activity involving fire (it’s lit), masked men, and Julia as a winged angel in leathers on the back of a motorbike. “We wanted to do something different with the video. A lot of our other videos have been shot on iPhones, which was cool, but we wanted to try the polar opposite of that which is why we asked the director, Charlotte, to work on film. We also wanted the visuals to work with the feeling of the song more so than the literal meaning. The movement, the elements, and the colors in the video capture that vibe.”

With immaculate styling throughout and a crown that even Tavi would be proud of, things result in a late-night dance party in the deep, dark, misty woods complete with killer moves from JC and sparkle jackets from the boys. A half curtsy from Julia and the past 3 minutes and 26 seconds have been iconic but it’s time to call it a night. Peace out.

Sunflower Bean’s debut album is bursting with primitive, arresting character. Effortlessly punctuating its hazy breaths of subtle psychedelia with timely bursts of strikingly raw garage rock, Human Ceremony wrong-foots the abyss of lifeless reverb-laden LPs that seems so prominent within the realms of self-declared ‘experimental’ guitar music. The hypnotic spell that the record casts is often broken by earworm distorted guitar solos or life-affirming call and response vocals,

This is the second single off of their debut EP, “Show Me Your Seven Secrets”
Available Here:

One of the best indie bands to recently emerge from Brooklyn in Diiv’s wake are this trio. Equal parts Blondie, The Cure and Tame Impala, their brand of blissed out indie sounds exhilarating, while debut album “Human Ceremony” has barely left the stereo since advance copies came in last month. New single ‘Easily Said’, meanwhile, is jangle pop perfection at its best.

sunflower bean

An all-ages acid trip for fans of: Tame Impala, the Velvet Underground, Menace Beach

Why You Should Pay Attention: Brooklyn’s fuzzy, neo-psychedelic Sunflower Bean are hitting the pavement hard this year. The trio of Julia Cumming, Nick Kivlen and Jacob Faber formed the band two years ago and rapidly became teenage heroes of Brooklyn rock. They’ve been playing for primarily older crowds, but it hasn’t come with too many hurdles. “Sometimes there have been venues where we have to stand outside of the venue the whole time and can only go in to play,” says Cumming. They released their debut EP, the excellent Show Me Your Seven Secrets, last year and then dropped their seven-inch, “I Hear Voices” signed to Fat Possum. They’re currently hard at work on their debut full-length, titled Human Ceremony: due out early in stores February 5th on Fat Possum Records


They Say: When the band celebrated the release of their latest seven-inch at Rough Trade NYC we expected a party.  Then the EP release show at [Brooklyn venue] Baby’s All Right was really fun and definitely felt really special to us,” Cumming recalls. “[The EP] was our first collection of music besides our singles that we put out, so we put streamers everywhere and served baked goods.”


The B-side from Sunflower Bean’s Fat Possum debut 7″, This Brooklyn trio has garnered plenty of buzz since their heavier-than-heavy 2015 EP, Show Me Your Seven Secrets”, and are getting ready to release their official debut. Judging by the leadoff single “Wall Watcher” – about “existing in a lonely world,” bassist Julia Cumming the band has dialed down the fuzzy psychedelia and dialed up the tempos. Their new album titled “Human Ceremony”, recorded in just seven days, is propelled by Cumming’s ethereal voice and a rhythm section that has only gotten tighter and faster after dozens of live shows last year, opening for the likes of Wolf Alice and Best Coast.