|Sunflower Bean — Twentytwo In Blue (March 23, 2018)|
Sunflower Bean — Twentytwo In Blue (March 23, 2018) EDITORS’ NOTES
χ Quite possibly the photo negative of the New York Trio’s difficult second album, Twentytwo in Blue features Sunflower Bean opening up and luxuriating in their prodigious talent. Key to its success is the positioning of Julia Cumming. She’s front and center here, taking the vast majority of lead vocals and dusting the band’s imaginative dream~rock with an unmissable star quality. She’s light and mesmeric on the album’s poppier moments (“I Was a Fool,” “Twentytwo”) and an impassioned presence when the trio dart confidently towards punky, political edges (“Crisis Fest,” “Puppet Strings”). Nostalgia and growing unease. © Photo credit: Rebekah Campbell
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Album release: March 23, 2018
Record Label: Lucky Number
01. Burn It 4:19
02. I Was A Fool 3:33
03. Twentytwo 4:33
04. Crisis Fest 3:32
05. Memoria 3:42
06. Puppet Strings 4:01
07. Only A Moment 4:15
08. Human For 2:23
09. Any Way You Like 3:44
10. Sinking Sands 2:32
11. Oh No, Bye Bye 4:03
℗ 2018 Mom+Pop
χ Jacob Faber drums
χ Julia Cumming bass, voice
χ Nick Kivlen singer, guitar
χ New York trio Sunflower Bean release their second record Twentytwo in Blue, with a Rough Trade Exclusive edition.
χ The new album comes almost two years and two months after the release of their critically acclaimed 2016 debut album Human Ceremony. Co~produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait (who also mixed the record) and HC~producer Matt Molnar of Friends, Twentytwo in Blue shows Sunflower Bean stay true to their guitar band core and classic rock~inspired roots, while exploring new sonic textures with more direct and progressive themes. Unlike their debut, which was essentially a compilation of songs Sunflower Bean wrote while still in their teens, Twentytwo in Blue was made in the year between December 2016 and December 2017 and showcases how far the band has come since playing together in their high school days.
χ Sunflower Bean find a sublime maturity and progression to their sound and songwriting on Twentytwo in Blue. If there was a ragged beauty in the gauzy, groovy wall of sound of Human Ceremony, there’s a new directness to these songs, a product of the band’s growth and the insanity of the times we’re in. Sunflower Bean have gained a newly confident voice that they bring to the second album, one that doesn’t shy away from addressing the other events of those two years — political changes and cultural shifts that have left America and the world stupefied.
χ LP+ — Rough Trade Exclusive (700 Copies) — Limited Transparent Blue Vinyl. With Download.
χ Sunflower Bean have created exclusively for Rough Trade shop 22 x Hand Made sleeves, designed / painted and individually signed by the band. Every sleeve is completely unique.
By Thomas Smith, Mar 21, 2018 11:24 am; Score: *****
χ The NYC trio’s second album is brimming with rage, humour and humanity
χ Sunflower Bean are all grown up. Well, as mature as any bunch of 22~year~olds will ever be — but compared to when they burst onto the scene a couple of years ago, the NYC trio feel like a whole new band. Their 2016 debut ‘Human Ceremony’ was cobbled together from singles they penned as teens, though had considerable merits as a slice of old~school rock’n’roll paired with pop sensibilities. ‘Twentytwo in Blue’ is a different beast entirely.
χ This is where the group find their voice and prove that they truly have something to say. Take lead single ‘Crisis Fest’ — a call~to~arms rocker that’ll have you scribbling anti~establishment mottos on a placard pronto: “There’s a coup in our country/it’s happening now” runs Julia Cumming’s furious growl. Partly inspired by the current political landscape in the USA, there’s naturally a rebellious streak peppered throughout the album, as on ‘Burn It’ and ‘Human For’, alongside a distinct quality of humanity that the cronies in power could never harbour.
χ It’s a welcome new side to the trio, but their reinvention is carefully concocted so as not to bin the lusher elements of their debut — rather, it builds on them. ‘I Was A Fool’ pays homage to the heavenly aspects of ‘Human Ceremony’ with ethereal Fleetwood Mac~style harmonies, as does ‘Memoria’. But there’s something truly special about ‘Twentytwo’, far and away the most complete song the trio have released. Delicately incorporating elements of the poetry of Dylan Thomas in the chorus (“I do not go quietly into the night that calls me, even when I’m alone”), Julia Cumming’s potent lyrics offer up their own assessments of injustice too: “If I could do it I would take her in my arms/I would unwrong all his wrongs/I could stay here and write a thousand songs”.
χ For a trio in their early ’20s, this album possesses a strikingly sound level of judgement. Not one song feels out of place or undercooked. Even the more lighthearted tracks (like ‘Sinking Sands’, on which guitarist Nick Kivlen sings about his pal Max “thinking in comic sans”) feel like they belong, no matter how playful and whimsical the lyrics. With any justice, this’ll be the album that catapults them into being recognised as one of the most important artists in the game. But not to worry: as they croon on ‘Anyway You Like’, time is most definitely on their side. And it’s astonishing what they’ve done with it thus far. χ http://www.nme.com/
Fri 23 Mar 2018 10.30 GMT; Score: ****
Sunflower Bean: Twentytwo in Blue review — shoegazers find their feet.
χ When this Brooklyn trio first emerged with 2016’s Human Ceremony, with band T~shirts and scraggly hair, they looked like archetypal indie rockers. Two years on, singer/bassist Julia Cumming is the epitome of blond chic while guitarist/vocalist Nick Kivlen and drummer Jacob Faber’s tailored moustaches and coiffured curls are more synonymous with 70s soft rock. The metamorphosis is mirrored in their music, which has transformed from a tuneful mix of shoegaze, grunge and psychedelia into a bigger, bolder pop~rock beast with huge riffs, Byrds~y jangles, funkier rhythms and sassier, dreamier vocals. At times they recall Rumours~era Fleetwood Mac.
|Sunflower Bean — Twentytwo In Blue (March 23, 2018)|