Release Date: Mar 23, 2018
Record label: Lucky Number
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Sunflower Bean's second album, Twentytwo in Blue, was written during two times of upheaval: the bandmembers navigating their early twenties and the first year of the Trump presidency. The young trio returned from touring the world in support of their excellent debut album, Human Ceremony, with an expanded worldview and a desire to write simple, punchy songs that talked honestly about their lives and their feelings about the world. To that end, they stripped away all traces of lazy psychedelia from their sound, replacing the fuzzy edges with toughness and digging deeper lyrically to uncover some real emotional content.
'Taking stock of one of the most turbulent periods in recent history - spanning from Trump's shock election at the end of 2016, right through to the political backwards steps which peppered the following year - it's easy to see why Sunflower Bean's second album, written during this time, is frantically treading water and examining new anxieties beneath its glossy, gliding surface. "2017 - we know, reality's one big sick show," vocalist Julia Cumming says, addressing the year in question atop 'Crisis Fest''s twanging '70s glam riffs. "Every day's a crisis fest." Titled 'Twentytwo in Blue' - the band were 22 years old during the making of the record - the melancholy clothing colour is significant too.
Twenty-two is the cool new age. At 22, you're teetering on the line between youth and the looming reality of true adulthood. You've put the latter off as long as you can. But you're too old to cling to the former, really. Taylor Swift wrote a song about being 22. "It's miserable and magical," she ….
Find one thing you're good at and stick with it. That's what you're supposed to do isn't it? Or, as The Onion put it: "Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life", because "you know damn well that … you're stuck on this mind-numbing path". Either way, no-one appeared to have told Brooklyn trio Sunflower Bean, if their 2016 debut album was anything to go by.
The Brooklyn-trio's popularity came simply from their earnestness, sounding exactly as they actually were: a group of young friends getting together and playing the kind of music that filled their airways as teens, wearing their influences openly and without pretension, the gestalt of which produced a very familiar but nostalgic and perhaps somewhat lost feeling for many adult music fans. Thus words such as 'youthful', 'energetic' and even 'childlike' were thrown like roses at the band's acclaimed debut Human Ceremony, which was recorded in a week at the age of nineteen. Though Julia Cumming, Jacob Faber and Nick Kivlen shaped their influences --pretty much every alternative rock movement from the 60s onwards-- into sophisticated songwriting where each member played off each other and to each others strengths, developing very much their own sound as a result, there were moments in Human Ceremony that were stitched together starkly; the metal drones that break the clean, psychedelia of "Creation Myth" stand out as an apt example.
To download, click "Share" and right-click the download icon | iTunes | Podchaser The Lowdown: At the tender age of 22, the members of New York-based trio Sunflower Bean have musically matured in a preternatural fashion, moving leaps and bounds beyond the rough-and-ready attack of their 2016 debut album. In a mere two years, they've absorbed the history of glam rock and paid enough attention to the world at large to become fully jaded adults. As a result, the 11 songs on Twentytwo in Blue stomp and seethe, while aching for humanity's future.
Witnessing the progression of Sunflower Bean is like watching the most transcendent coming of age story. Their sophomore record 'Twentytwo In Blue' carries such a tangible sense of progression, yet it still simultaneously enhance those Sunflower Bean idiosyncrasies that we've come to love. The trio's dynamic is more vibrant than ever with every element standing as its own in the soundscape, and rightfully so.