Early praise for Twentytwo in Blue:
"Spirited interpreters of rock 'n' roll's eternal truths, the three early-20s New Yorkers who make up Sunflower Bean are equally adept at studio finesse (witness their recent single 'I Was a Fool') and raucous live noise." - New York Times
"On 'I Was a Fool,' the band clears away some of the psych-rock haze that clouded their prior work, allowing the trebly guitar licks, bouncy bass lines, and especially Cumming's voice to shine...[the band's] chemistry remains on full display." - Pitchfork
"Sunflower Bean's 'I Was A Fool' is one of those great sunny-sounding sad songs. It's fuzzy and wistful and a little bit country, like Rilo Kiley, or all the best Woods records." - The FADER
"The Brooklyn trio made a splash in 2016 - including on EW's year-end list - with their jangling brand of psych-rock. Their latest single drifts in the clouds" - Entertainment Weekly
"It's nice to hear they haven't lost one ounce of their cool." - NYLON
"The jaunty ['I Was A Fool'] recalls Fleetwood Mac, and features more of the buoyant guitars and call-and-response vocals of Nick Kivlen and Julia Cumming that helped make the band's debut so charming." - Consequence of Sound
"Despite its blissful drift, 'I Was a Fool' finds Sunflower Bean at their sharpest, portending a quite triumphant return." -Paste
Today New York trio Sunflower Bean announce their sophomore record Twentytwo in Blue. The album will be released on March 23rd - when all members of the band will be 22 years old - and comes almost two years and two months after the release of their critically acclaimed 2016 debut album Human Ceremony. Co-produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Jacob Portrait (who also mixed the record) and HC-producer Matt Molnar of Friends, Twentytwo in Blue shows Sunflower Bean stay true to their guitar band core and classic rock-inspired roots, while exploring new sonic textures with more direct and progressive themes. Unlike their debut, which was essentially a compilation of songs Sunflower Bean wrote while still in their teens,Twentytwo in Blue was made in the year between December 2016 and December 2017 and showcases how far the band has come since playing together in their high school days. See below for album art, tracklisting, and upcoming tour dates - get your tickets HERE. Pre-order Twentytwo in Blue, out 3/23 on Mom + Pop,HERE or HERE.
To celebrate the album announce, Sunflower Bean share a new single entitled "Crisis Fest." "2017 - we know/ Reality's one big sick show/ Every day's a crisis fest," vocalist and bassist Julia Cumming sings. "This last year was extremely alarming, traumatic, and politically volatile," explains the band about the track. "While writing this album, we often reflected back on the people we met while on tour. We felt a strong kinship with the audiences that came to see us all over the country, and we wanted to write a song for them - something to capture the anxieties of an uncertain future. 'Crisis Fest' is less about politics and more about the power of us, the young people in this country." Listen to the new single HERE, stream it on digital services HERE and watch the Andy DeLuca-directed music video exclusively at Apple Music HERE.
When Kivlen, Faber and Cumming completed a near 200-show world tour on Thanksgiving of 2016, the plan was for the trio to take a well-earned and extended break. That idea didn't last long. "By mid-December we were already back in Jacob's basement on Long Island just working on ideas," recalls Kivlen. By December 2017, Twentytwo in Blue was complete.
Sunflower Bean find a sublime maturity and progression to their sound and songwriting on Twentytwoin Blue. Reflecting on their past "rock"-heavy releases, the band decided to embrace a softer, and sweeter side on this record. This not only meant slowing things down a bit this time around, but also finds Cumming truly singing like never before. "We're a rock band, and we would never want to be a ballad-y band," she says. "But also I think when you're like 18 and 19, you need to scream, you know? And in life you'll always need to scream. I was a little afraid to show myself as a singer, even to my band mates, but I did and we were able to push ourselves. I think if anything, after making this we're the most well-rounded we've ever been."
If there was a ragged beauty in the gauzy, groovy wall of sound of Human Ceremony and its predecessor, the 2015 EP Show Me Your Seven Secrets, there's a new directness to these songs, a product of the band's growth and the insanity of the times we're in. Sunflower Bean have gained a newly confident voice that they bring to the second album, one that doesn't shy away from addressing the other events of those two years - political changes and cultural shifts that have left America and the world stupefied. "This has been such an unbelievable time," says Kivlen. "I can't imagine any artist of our ilk making a record and not have it be seen through the lens of the political climate of 2016 and 2017. So I think there's a few songs on the record that are definitely heavily influenced by this sort of - whatever you want to say what the Trump administration has been." "A shit show," offers a helpful Faber.
Ultimately, this record is much more than a political statement or piece of commentary on today's political climate. "I think one word that always comes to mind when I think about this record is lovable," says Cumming. "We want the songs to be something that someone can get attached to, and have be a part of them. Because that's what I look for in songs myself, and that's the kind of experience we want to give to others."