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.