Tag: CMJ Festival

Live Footage: Sunflower Bean Perform “Memoria” for Audiotree’s Far Out

Now, over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Brooklyn-based psych rock/indie rock trio  Sunflower Bean, and as you can recall, the band comprised of founding members Nick Kivlen (guitar, vocals) and Jacob Faber (drums), along with Julia Cumming (bass, vocals) can trace their origins to when Kivlen and Faber were both members of Turnip King. At the time Kivlen and Faber had been spending a great deal of time away from their then-primary project jamming together, before deciding that that they should start their own project. Kivlen, who knew Cumming through mutual friends was recruited to join the band — although Cumming was a member of Supercute! with Rachel Trachtenberg.

The band quickly became a buzz-worthy act with a run of attention grabbing, critically applauded sets during 2014’s CMJ Festival, which they promptly followed up that year’s Rock & Roll Heathen EP AND 2015’s Show Me Your Seven Secrets EP —  and thanks to the success of singles like “Tame Impala” and “2013,” the band quickly rose to national and international prominence. Adding to a rapidly growing profile, the trio toured across the US and the UK as a headliner, and as an opener for Wolf Alice, Best Coast and The Vaccines, before 2016’s Matthew Molnar-produced, full-length debut Human Ceremony. After spending the better part of that year with a roughly 200 date world tour, the members of the band initially planned to take a well-earned, extended break; however, by December, the trio wound up in Faber’s Long Island basement with song ideas that eventually became their Jacob Portrait and Matt Molnar co-produecd sophomore album Twentytwo in Blue, which was released earlier this year through Mom + Pop Records. Since its release, the album has been a commercial and critical success — the album debut in the Top 40 in the UK, hit #5 on Billboard’s Top New Artists chart, and earned praise from Paste, NME and others.

Coincidentally, the album’s release was 22 months after the release of their full-length debut, while marking when each of the members turn 22. The album’s first single “I Was A Fool,” revealed a radical change in sonic direction with the band leaning heavily towards 70s AM rock — in particular, Fleetwood Mac. The album’s first official single and second overall, the stomping and anthemic “Crisis Fest,” was arguably the most politically charged single the band has ever written and recorded, as it focuses on the uncertain and politically volatile period it was written, with the song being an urgent call to action to young people to get out there, get involved and make the world right once and for all. And goddamn it, it’s necessary.  “Twentytwo,” the album’s third single was a breezy feminist anthem, focused on fighting against society’s expectations and demands upon women as well as the abuses of powerful men.

Since their sophomore album’s release, the members of Sunflower Bean have been busy extensively touring and playing sold out dates both internationally and nationally, along with a run of appearances across the national festival circuit that will include stops at Voodoo Festival, Pickathon, SummerStage, XPoNential, before returning to the EU, the UK and Asia. The fall will see Sunflower Bean the band opening for Interpol; but in the meantime, the folks at Audiotree invited the members of Sunflower Bean to to perform the mesmerizing, Heart-like “Memoria,” a track that finds the band balancing a swaggering, self-assuredness with a wistful ache.

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New Video: Sunflower Bean Releases Cinematic Visuals for Shimmering, 70s Rock-Inspired Single “Twentytwo”

Over the past couple of years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Brooklyn-based psych rock/indie rock trio  Sunflower Bean. And as you can recall, the band, comprised of founding duo Nick Kivlen (guitar, vocals) and Jacob Faber (drums) with Julia Cumming (bass, lead vocals) can trace their origins to when they Kivlen and Faber were members of renowned, local, indie rock act Turnip King — and at the time the band’s founding duo had been spending a great deal of time away from their then-primary project jamming together, before deciding that they should start their own project. Cumming, who was then a member of Supercute! with Rachel Trachtenburg, was recruited by Kivlen, who had known her through mutual friends.

The band quickly became a buzz-worthy act with a run of attention grabbing, critically applauded sets during 2014’s CMJ Festival, which they promptly followed with a series of shows across town; but with the release of that year’s Rock & Roll Heathen EP and 2015’s Show Me Your Seven Secrets EP, which featured singles “Tame Impala” and “2013.” the band quickly rose to national and international prominence. Adding to a growing profile, the Brooklyn-based psych rock trio toured across the US and the UK both as a headliner and as an opener for  Wolf Alice, Best Coast and The Vaccines. They then completed a breakthrough and whirlwind period with the 2016 release of their Matthew Molnar-produced debut effort Human Ceremony, which was released to critical praise. 

After spending the better part of 2016 with a roughly 200 date world tour, the members of the band initially planned to take a well-earned, extended break; however by mid-December. the trio were in Faber’s Long Island basement with song ideas that eventually became their highly-anticipated Jacob Portrait and Matt Molnar-co-produced sophomore effort, Twentytwo in Blue, which is slated for a March 23, 2018 release through Mom + Pop Records, which coincidentally is 22 months after the release of their full-length but and when all of the members of the band have turned 22. 

At the end of last year, the trio released “I Was A Fool,” a single that revealed a radical change in sonic direction with the band’s sound leaning heavily towards the classic, 70s rock of Fleetwood Mac.  As the band’s Nick Kivlen explained in press notes at the time, “‘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 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.”

Released earlier this year, “Crisis Fest,” Twentytwo in Blue’s, first official single found the band tackling more sobering topics with the song directly focusing on the uncertain and politically volatile period in which it was written — all while nodding upon glam rock — in particular, Bay City Rollers‘ “Saturday Night” and Ace Frehley’s “Back in the New York Groove” as the song was an stomping and anthemic call to action for young people to start getting involved and making the world right — or no one will have a chance. The album’s latest single “Twentytwo” follows in the vein of “I Was A Fool,” as it’s a breezy, mid-tempo, 70s rock-inspired track that’s about fighting against society’s expectations of young women and generations of abuse by men in power, managing to be an incredibly timely track, considering the #metoo and #timesup movements; but it also focuses on the resilience and inner strength of young women. After all, while women shoulder the weight of the world, they manage to prevail. 

Directed by Olivia Bee, the recently released video for “Twentytwo” is the 29th installment of Urban Outfitter’s UO Music Video Series, and the video thematically focuses on the passing of seemingly innocent and certain youth into uncertain and ambiguous adulthood but while also subverting the expectations of young women — with  each of the video’s young women being bold, assertive.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you may have come across a post or two featuring Brooklyn-based psych rock/indie rock trio Sunflower Bean.  The trio which is comprised of Julia Cumming (bass, lead vocals) and founding duo Nick Kivlen (guitar, vocals) and Jacob Faber (drums) can trace their origins back to 20123 when Kivlen and Faber were members of Turnip King, and at the time, Kivlen and Faber had been spending a great deal of time practicing and jamming together, and decided that it was time to go out on their own. Cumming, who was then a member of of Supercute! with Rachel Trachtenburg, was recruited by Kivlen, who had known her through mutual friends. 

The band quickly rose to national attention after playing 8 critically applauded sets over the course of 4 days during 2014’s CMJ Festival, along with a series of shows across town; however, the act started to receive both national and international attention with the release of 2014’s Rock & Roll Heathen EP and 2015’s Show Me Your Seven Secrets EP, an EP that featured the critically applauded singles “Tame Impala” and “2013.” Adding to a growing profile, the Brooklyn-based trio toured the US and the UK as a headliner and as an opener for Wolf AliceBest Coast and The Vaccines. The Brooklyn-based trio then followed it up with their Matthew Molnar-produced debut effort Human Ceremony, which was released last year to critical praise.

After spending the better part of 2016 touring to support Human Ceremony, which included an impressive Burger Records Beach Bash 2 set, the trio have released their first new single in some time “I Was A Fool.” And while closely hewing to the period that has most influenced their sound and aesthetic — late 60s psych rock and 70s classic rock — the Brooklyn trio’s latest single not only finds them at their loosest and most self-assured, it finds them gently pushing their sound in the direction of breezy yet deliberately crafted 70s AM rock, with their latest track sounding as though it were influenced by Fleetwood Mac.  But underneath the song’s breeziness, the trio capture something that my colleagues, who have written about the song have missed — that while all-consuming love can be swooning and urgent, it can also be deeply ambivalent, if not profoundly helpless; after all, love is arguably one of the ridiculous, inexplicable, frustrating, and most wonderful things we’ll ever really know.

Interestingly as the band’s Nick Kivlen explains in press notes, “‘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 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.”

With the release of the new single, the band also announced that they signed to renowned indie label Mom + Pop Music, and they will be embarking on a lengthy UK tour before playing a series of North American tour dates, including a November 30 stop at Brooklyn’s newest venue Elsewhere. Check out the tour dates below.

 

Tour dates – North American shows in BOLD

11/08 – Bristol, UK @ 02 Bristol *
11/09 – Manchester, UK @ 02 Apollo *
11/11 – Glasgow, SCT @ Barrowlands *
11/12 – Glasgow, SCT @ Barrowlands *
11/13 – Newcastle, UK @ 02 Academy *
11/15 – Nottingham, UK @ Rock City *
11/16 – Birmingham, UK @ 02 Academy *
11/17 – Norwich, UK @ UEA *
11/18 – Leeds, UK @ 01 Academy *
11/20 – Brighton, UK @ Dome *
11/21 – Southampton, UK @ 02 Guildhall *
11/24 – London, UK @ Alexandra Palace *
11/27 – Belfast, North Ireland @ Ulster Hall *
11/28 – Dublin, Ireland @ Olympia *
11/30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere

1/26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits
1/31 – Chicago, IL @ Metro ^
2/01 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement East ^
2/03 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk ^
2/05 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger ^
2/06 – Dallas, TX @ Granada ^
2/07 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Inside Downstairs) ^
2/09 – New Orleans, LA @ Republic New Orleans ^
2/10 – Athens, GA  @ 40 Watt ^
2/11 – Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre ^
2/14 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ^
3/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge
3/02 – San Francisco, CA @  Rickshaw Stop

* – w/ Wolf Alice
^ – w/ Sleigh Bells

Now, if you had been frequenting this site back in 2015, you may recall that I once wrote about the New York/London-based electro pop outfit Stereo Off. Initially formed in 2012 as the solo recording project of frontman Sebastian Marciano, the project eventually evolved into a quintet whose sound drew from indie rock, classical music and electronic music. And by the following year, the quintet had played in a number of renowned venues across NYC including the Knitting Factory and Glasslands and had their music featured in sevaerl short films that made the film festival circuit, which added to a growing profile locally and nationally. Building upon the growing buzz, the project released their first two efforts — 2014’s New York EP and 2015’s The Long Hot Winter, which landed them a CMJ Festival appearance that year.

After several lineup changes over the past year or so, the band has settled into a trio featuring Marciano (vocals) and Niall Madden, a guitarist, who in that same period has switched from guitar to bass on most of their latest material and Bridget Fitzgerald (synths). Along with that, the band has gone through a change in sonic direction and songwriting approach that has each member frequently filling in where necessary and not always playing their primary instrument. And as you’ll hear on their sensual New Order and Yaz-inspired single “Venir” off the band’s appropriately titled, forthcoming EP III, the newly constituted trio’s sound has become more dance floor friendly as the band pairs a sinuous bass line with shimmering synths, Marciano sultry and plaintive vocals, a tight motorik-like groove and their while retaining renowned penchant for crafting tight, anthemic hooks.

New Video: Pom Poms’ Super 8 Film Channeling Video for “Betty (Alternate Version)”

  If you’ve been following JOVM over the past two weeks or so, you may recall that I’ve written about Los Angeles-based duo Pom Poms. Comprised of singer/songwriter Marlene and Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler, who is probably […]

New Video: Sorcha Richardson’s Achingly Sincere Pop Single “Petrol Station”

Born in Ireland and currently based in Brooklyn, electronic music artist and singer/songwriter Sorcha Richardson initially came to the States to study but after developing a number of close relationships within Brooklyn’s electronic music scene, Richardson’s […]