The NYC trio’s second album is brimming with rage, humour and humanity
Sunflower Bean are all grown up. Well, as mature as any bunch of 22-year-olds will ever be – but compared to when they burst onto the scene a couple of years ago, the NYC trio feel like a whole new band. Their 2016 debut ‘Human Ceremony’ was cobbled together from singles they penned as teens, though had considerable merits as a slice of old-school rock’n’roll paired with pop sensibilities. ‘Twentytwo in Blue’ is a different beast entirely. 4/5 NME
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 sang, with great wisdom.
And this week, Sunflower Bean’s second album Twentytwo in Blue comes out, when all three of its members—bassist/vocalist Julia Cumming, guitarist/vocalist Nick Kivlen and drummer Jacob Faber—are 22 years old. 8/10 Paste Magazine
‘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. From start to finish, the trio are concerned with taking apart the worries and anxieties of being young in this uniquely terrifying time, marching soldiers and fast-approaching darkness peeking between the gigantic, celebratory rock‘n’roll. And during more tender moments – ‘I Was A Fool’ draws solid-gold pop out of emotional quicksand, just as Fleetwood Mac did on ‘Rumours’ – they progress leaps and bounds on from the foundations of their debut. 4/5 DIY Mag
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. From the steady rock and roll drums to Julia Cumming’s vibrant vocals, the composition showcase the band’s abilities to their full extent.
The release certainly bear witness of coming together in the post-truth era. Whilst tracks like ‘Crisis Fest’ clearly illustrates the more dystopian traits of our time, there is a beaming hope present throughout the record. With current affairs so gracefully laced into the lyrics, the nostalgia of their melodies makes for an interesting contrast. Clash Mag
Watch I Was A Fool Below