Posts Tagged ‘Sunflower Bean’

sunflower bean king of the dudes

Sunflower Bean move fast. Two years ago, the New York trio turned heads with their sleek, dreamy debut, Human Ceremony. On this past spring’s Twentytwo in Blue, they sounded even cooler and more confident. Now, less than a year later, they’re leaping forward yet again with King of the Dudes, their fantastic new four-track EP, due out January 25th on Mom + Pop Records.

“Over time, we really just give less of a fuck,” says singer and bassist Julia Cumming. “That’s what rock needs in 2018, and that’s what the EP is saying. We’re free to be aggressive and fun and weird.”

King of the Dudes is all black-leather-jacket strut and New Wave sneer, as heard on “Come for Me,” the EP’s first single. “Do you really wanna come for me?/You know I got all night,” Cumming taunts. “Do you really wanna waste my time?/If you do, then do it right.”

“It’s about having my fists up — intellectually, proverbially, ready for anything,” Cumming says of the song. “Women are fed up. The public is fed up. Shit’s really bad, and we needed a way to express that. And, obviously, there are some sexual undertones.”

Sunflower Bean were on tour this past June — “driving around the United States, where we do most of our thinking,” Cumming says — when they first considered a swerve in direction. She had been texting with producer Justin Raisen, whose work on Angel Olsen’s My Woman(2016) and Sky Ferreira’s Night Time, My Time (2013) had piqued the band’s interest, and later in the summer, Cumming, singer-guitarist Nick Kivlen and drummer Jacob Faber paid a visit to Raisen’s Los Angeles studio.

They didn’t have much of a plan beyond capturing the spark they were all feeling, but that was enough. “[Raisen’s] energy was really different from a lot of other indie rock producers,” Kivlen says. “Much more savage and vital. We were very measured with our last record, and we took a lot of time looking at each detail through a magnifying glass. Then we went to L.A. and just steamrolled right through this, working more on instinct.”

They knocked out the EP over a quick week in Raisen’s studio-converted garage. “We rented all these crazy amps, and tracked with about four amps going at the same time, with all these different aesthetics,” Kivlen says. “It’s the most happy I’ve ever been with my guitar sound on a record.”

“You could hear it down the block,” Cumming adds. “It shows that you don’t need a big studio with a bunch of isolation chambers to make something real.

‘King of the Dudes’ EP Out January 25th, 2019


“There’s a certain intensity with festivals that comes from everyone being there, and being backstage, that gets you really amped up to play,” says Julia Cumming, bassist and lead vocalist of Sunflower Bean. “With regular club shows, you can get into a pattern that you’re used to; but at festivals, you’ve got a million things coming at you all at once.”

The hard-touring New York trio, which also includes guitarist/vocalist Nick Kivlen and drummer Jacob Faber, has had plenty of experience with both club gigs and festival dates in their five years as a band. Sunflower Bean’s moody, melodic, psychedelia-tinged brand of indie pop—as heard on Twentytwo in Blue, their second and latest full-length release—takes on a more playful and unpredictable feel in a live setting.

“With this record, we did a lot of orchestration that we were really happy with,” Cumming explains. “But it’s fun to stretch things out and surprise people, and offer something that they can’t get on the record. There’s something magical about people playing together—and even the possibility of failure. If you do a show one night, then the next night it’s not going to be the same, and I think that makes it possible for us to tour a lot, because each night is different. We try to surprise each other and we try to push each other to have a really interesting show. I think what a lot of people expect from live music these days is basically fireworks and someone pressing play—which is fine, but we offer something else. What we do is almost a different kind of art form.”

“We just really believe in live playing,” adds Kivlen. “It’s something that’s inspired us over the years growing up, and it’s something we really hold close to our hearts. Which is not to say that we’ll never expand things or do anything different, but it’s just where we’re coming from. If people are coming to see a live band, then we’re going to give them a live show!”

Having only previously played in New Orleans once—in February of this year, opening for fellow New Yorkers Sleigh Bells at Republic NOLA—Sunflower Bean are looking forward to getting further acquainted with the vibrant city in October, when they’ll be playing Voodoo Fest.

“The first time we were there was actually right around Mardi Gras, and it was pretty overwhelming, in a good way,” Cumming recalls. “So I’m excited to take in more of the food and more of the culture, and to take in more of that amazing town… Also, it’s close to Halloween, which is one of our favorite holidays,” she laughs. “Shows around Halloween are fun, because you can kind of conceptualize costumes and play cover sets. One time we did a Halloween cover set as The Smashing Pumpkins–slash–Marilyn Manson. I don’t think we’ll be doing that for Voodoo Fest—but I can’t say we won’t!”

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Earlier this year, New York City-based trio Sunflower Bean released their excellent sophomore LP, Twentytwo in Blue, and now they have an EP called King of the Dudes arriving January. 25th, 2019, on Mom + Pop. Its first track, “Come For Me,” follows Twentytwo in Blue’s lead: it’s restless rock ’n’ roll, though it’s a bit groovier than, say, “Burn It,” the LP’s riotous opening number. It’s danceable, but it’s not fluffy—frontwoman Julia Cumming releases the song’s lyrical interrogations in a fiery blast. “Do you really wanna waste my time?” she asks. “If you do, then do it right.” “This song was inspired by inner strength, power and sexual freedom,” said the band in a statement. “In 2018 there is no time to waste and no time for shame. This song is a declaration of that. ‘Do you really want to come for me? Do you really want to waste my time?’ The song is a dare, a threat, and a beckoning.

‘King of the Dudes’ EP Out January 25th, 2019


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Brooklyn-native rock band Sunflower Bean released on Friday a pulsating new single titled “Human For.” The single is the latest release off the band’s highly anticipated sophomore album, “Twentytwo in Blue”, set to be released March 23rd on Mom + Pop Records. Previous tracks from the album include “I Was a Fool,” “Crisis Fest” and “Twentytwo.”

“Human For” steps away from the melodic tones found in these previous tracks and does something truly experimental. The gripping bass lines of bassist/lead singer Julia Cumming start the song off with a high energy that is only amplified by her powerful vocals and unapologetic lyrics. The song then takes a darkly psychedelic turn as dissonant chords begin to play and a sound bite of a reverend can be heard in the background, talking about “salvation” and “sanctification by the spirit.”

The previously released tracks have all tackled issues taken on by a person coming of age, and “Human For” is no different. Like the tracks preceding it, “Human For” tries to accurately describe a unique aspect of the transitional phase from teenager to adult. In this case, the single talks about the unlearning of a belief system in order to find self-meaning and a personal truth. In an interview with The Fader, Cumming spoke more in-depth about the lessons she learned while leaving her teens and about the single itself:

Something I’ve noticed about getting older, at least with myself, is accepting people and being able to comment on the world more. “Human For” is urgent to the point of desperation and not needing someone else’s idea of religion or whatever you need to protect yourself. You can make that yourself. You can find reason in your own meaning.

Sunflower Bean are currently on tour they play the Rescue Rooms on Saturday, and will be touring until the summer, in support of this forthcoming album.

Listen to the band’s latest single below, Then, revisit the music video for their previous single “Twentytwo”


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Sunflower Bean is a New York rock band featuring Nick Kivlen (lead guitar and vocals), Jacob Faber (drums), and Julia Cumming (bass and lead vocals). Their new album Twentytwo In Blue comes out later this month on Mom + Pop Records.

Sunflower Bean put the “party” in day party. Watch the New York three-piece rock out during our SXSW event.

Proud inheritors of the inimitable New York rock tradition, Sunflower Bean deliver resonant anthems with chiming guitars that will take you back to…well, name your favorite year. It might just be 2018.

Songs Performed: 0:50 I Was a Fool 4:35 Crisis Fest 13:35 Twenty Two 18:40 Easier Said

Band Members
Jacob Faber (drums)
Julia Cumming (vox/bass)
Nick Kivlen (vox/guitar)

Our new single, “Twentytwo” is out now! We’ve been waiting to share this song with you for so long. It’s about resilience, enduring the tide, standing through the waves. It’s one of our favorite songs on the upcoming album, Twenty Two in Blue, due out March 23rd. We hope you love it as much as we do. It’s available now everywhere you listen to music.

The track sees the band, and especially lead vocalist Julia Cumming, channel their inner Fleetwood Mac for a glam-folk that’s gorgeous and lush while feeling fragile in places. Even paraphrasing some Dylan Thomas poetry for extra poignancy.

It’s a truly beautiful number and sees Sunflower Bean grow from their former anarchic roots to find a common thread among us all. If it’s an evolution seen on the album .


Sunflower Bean Twentytwo in Blue art.jpg

Sunflower Bean made a late play for putting out one of 2017’s best songs when they released “I Was a Fool” in November, the first new music they had released since their acclaimed 2016 debut Human Ceremony. Today, the New York trio have done us one better by announcing their second album Twentytwo in Blue, due out March 23rd via Mom + Pop Records. Jacob Faber, Julia Cumming and Nick Kivlen will each be 22 years old at the time of the record’s release, which comes almost two years and two months after that of Human Ceremony. See what they did there?

Twentytwo in Blue’s second single is “Crisis Fest,” an urgent, yet upbeat call to arms that warns, “If you hold us back, you know that we can shout / We brought you into this place, you know we can take you out.” The track feels of our time and timeless at once, a heartening and defiant reminder of rock ‘n’ roll’s power to galvanize. “2017—we know / Reality’s one big sick show,” sings vocalist/bassist Cumming. “Every day’s a crisis fest.” “Crisis Fest” also received an Andy DeLuca-directed music video,

Sunflower Bean say of their new song:

This last year was extremely alarming, traumatic and politically volatile. While writing this album, we often reflected back on the people we met while on tour. We felt a strong kinship with the audiences that came to see us all over the country, and we wanted to write a song for them—something to capture the anxieties of an uncertain future. “Crisis Fest” is less about politics and more about the power of us, the young people in this country.

Indeed, the band is unafraid to address the many anxieties of our modern moment on their new album, which was co-produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait (who also mixed the record) and Matt Molnar of Friends.

Says vocalist guitarist Kivlen:

This has been such an unbelievable time. I can’t imagine any artist of our ilk making a record and not have it be seen through the lens of the political climate of 2016 and 2017. So I think there’s a few songs on the record that are definitely heavily influenced by this sort of—whatever you want to say what the Trump administration has been.

“A shit show,” answers Faber.

Listen to “Crisis Fest” below ,Twentytwo in Blue is out March 23rd on Mom +  Pop Records.



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,


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Sunflower Bean are back with their first new music since their February 2016 debut Human Ceremony. The New York dream-pop trio—made up of drummer Jacob Faber, vocalist/bassist Julia Cumming and vocalist/guitarist Nick Kivlen—have signed to Mom + Pop Records and shared new single “I Was a Fool,” with a prom-inspired, Apple Music-exclusive music video to match.

Kivlen explained the song’s genesis in a statement: “I Was A Fool” is one of those songs that seemingly crept up from nowhere and into our practice space. It was a special moment between the three of us, Julia and I both improvised the lyrics. It feels like far longer, but it’s been nearly two years since we’ve put new music into the world. I think this song is a good example of how we’ve grown as a band, while still staying true to the band that first played together back in high school.


Despite its blissful drift, “I Was a Fool” finds Sunflower Bean at their sharpest, portending a quite triumphant return. Cumming and Kivlen trade off vocals from verse to chorus, lamenting the hazards of love over a layered cloud of melodic guitars, driving bass and jangling percussion. “I was a fool who lost his head,” sings Kivlen, making regret sound surprisingly liberating. If this is what losing one’s head sounds like, we’ll gladly part with ours.

Sunflower Bean have a handful of headlining tour dates on the docket, including stops in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco. They’ve also set a fall U.K. tour supporting Wolf Alice,

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