Tag: Sunflower Bean Crisis Fest

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.

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.