Posts Tagged ‘Twentytwo in Blue’


“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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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 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.