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Sunflower Bean — Human Ceremony (05 February 2016)

Sunflower Bean — Human Ceremony (February 5th, 2016)

  Sunflower Bean — Human Ceremony (February 5th, 2016) Sunflower Bean — Human Ceremony (February 5th, 2016)Location: Brooklyn, New York
Album release: 05 February 2016
Record Label: Fat Possum
Duration:     38:15
01 Human Ceremony     4:06  
02 Come On     3:00  
03 2013     3:31  
04 Easier Said     3:28  
05 This Kind of Feeling     2:28  
06 I Was Home     4:16  
07 Creation Myth     4:57  
08 Wall Watcher     2:27  
09 I Want You to Give Me Enough Time     3:32  
10 Oh, I Just Don’t Know     1:56  
11 Space Exploration Disaster     4:34                                                        © Photo: Rebekah Campbell
χ   Jacob Faber drums
χ   Julia Cumming bass, voice 
χ   Nick Kivlen singer, guitar
By Ed Nash / 27 JANUARY 2016, 11:30 GMT / Score: 8
♦   Guitar bands have a tricky question to answer when they make their debut album, namely should they release a live–sounding record or take advantage of the possibilities of the recording studio?
♦   On Human Ceremony, Sunflower Bean have shrewdly gone for a combination of the two. Yet even though they recorded it in just seven days, there are layers of nuance in the songs that stretch their musical language beyond the bombastic riffery of their earlier material into something much more accomplished and varied. It’s unashamedly retro in parts, but feels fresh enough to sound like a modern take on the Nuggets compilations.
♦   That’s not to say they’ve abandoned the psych–rock on which they’ve built their live reputation — Best Fit described them as one of the best new bands at 2015’s Great Escape — as there’s plenty of classic three–piece powerpop on display. The infectious, pummelling “Wall Watcher” has the pop nous of Hüsker Dü’s “Could You Be The One?” “I Was Home” speeds up and down, creating a similar feeling of disorientation that The Small Faces wrought on “Itchycoo Park”
♦   However the record really takes off when they ease their foot off the gas. “Easier Said” could be a Johnny Marr riff with an American accent and with the combination of singers’ Nick Kivlen and Julia Cumming’s voices they remind you of 70s and 80s Fleetwood Mac in places.
♦   They slow things down even further on the lovely longing of “I Want You To Give Me Enough Time”, where the harmonies are underscored nicely by a droney keyboard and “Oh, I Just Don’t Know”  which has a similar vocal interplay to Lou Reed and Moe Tucker’s duet on The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Sticking With You”.
♦   The phrase ‘modern psychedelia’ often feels like an oxymoron, but on Human Ceremony Sunflower Bean make perfect sense of it, rewardingly broadening their musical horizons in the process and as with the Nuggets compilations it’s as diverse as you like yet retains a marvellous cohesion at the same time. ♦   http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/
Bandcamp: https://sunflowerbean.bandcamp.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sunflower_Bean
Tumblr: http://sunflowerbeanband.tumblr.com/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPKGJGJM-g9waSw1zVvZuKw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SunflowerBean
Facebook: JC: https://www.facebook.com/julia.cumming.9 © Author: Ruby June, Human Ceremony
BY JON DOLAN January 29, 2016 / Score: ****
♦   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.” “What do you do when you’re stuck between days?” singer–bassist Julia Cumming wonders at one point. The answer: You cut through the malaise with curt little tunes that refuse to sit still.
♦   Human Ceremony is a very impressive record for a band that’s only been putting out music for about a year. “Come On” shifts from jagged punk rave–up to autumnal dream–weave; the shimmering arpeggios on “Easier Said” evoke Johnny Marr and Peter Buck on a tandem bike along the Thames; the surfy speed–demon “2013” makes the recent past sound like a trippy tomorrow; and “I Want You To Give Me Enough Time,” where Cumming duets beautifully with singer–guitarist Nick Kivlen, is an adorable twee–soul smoothie.
♦   Sunflower Bean’s lyrics can marinate in bored indecision, but sometimes they also try to punch out of it. The scorching “I Was Home” goes from everyday–whatever realism (“I was home and then I wasn’t”) to escapist rock–star fantasy (“I had a dream/I saw myself on TV/And I viewed myself in many different ways”). Then again, with songs like these, it won’t be a fantasy for long.
♦   http://www.rollingstone.com/_____________________________________________________________

Sunflower Bean — Human Ceremony (05 February 2016)


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