Get ready to put New York City glam back into your musical rotation.
A band inspired by the world of high fashion but also well-aware of the realm’s constraints, this project is the joint venture of bassist/vocalist Julia Cumming, drummer Olive Faber and guitarist Nick Kivlen, a trio of friends whose strong bond resonates in their music, which rang true during our interview.
“It’s less about certain [fashion] trends coming back and more about people worrying less and embracing themselves,” Kivlen states.
Adds Cumming, “We’d love to see people being fearless in how they dress.”
What was so refreshing about chatting with S.B. was there was so much excitement for these wonderful musicians to look forward to: Their first real tour since the pandemic hit, a new album that is bound to turn heads, and to top it off, a D.C. show popping off just a few hours before the release of the aforementioned album.
“We need to do something wild,” Faber remarks.
“We should keep it a surprise,” Cumming says with a wide smile.
In terms of their upcoming release “Headful of Sugar,” this album stands tall with most of the mastering done by the ever-so-talented Olive Faber and lyrical content that gives a conscious nuance to the rockstar high-life.
From cash-raining dance parties in motel rooms to a Kubrick-esque stare from Sunflower Bean’s Cumming, this video follows a narrative that showcases high-stakes living but doesn’t see it through biased eyes.
Sure, it’s messy when you account for the bar fights and bloody noses, but nonetheless, the emotion felt is real and worthy of recognition.
Kivlen confesses, “It’s about how so many of our friends are struggling to get by and how we were raised with this mindset to grind and compete. It embraces nihilism and the part of you that does want to win, while also condemning this economic system we live in.”
As with “Roll the Dice,” the theme of embracing harsh emotions also comes through in their other video “I Don’t Have Control Sometimes,” a Charlotte Ercoli-directed effort that follows Dave (or four-eyed f*ck, as he’s consistently called) while he ventures through a Sunflower Bean-marketed world and faces the harsh brunt of human hostility.
Cumming explains, “There’s a lot of emotions on this album where we consistently repeat them and allow the listeners some space to have a relationship with them. We are not placing judgment. Not having control: that is what it is.”
Sunflower Bean and its members clearly care about their outreach and their fans. From understanding that fashion is fashion regardless of what is worn and that emotions don’t always have to be palatable, this delightful trio is set to put on an amazing show here in the District and is more than thrilled to do so.
Sunflower Bean plays Union Stage on May 5. Get tickets here. “Headful of Sugar” releases on May 6. To learn more about Sunflower Bean, visit sunflowerbeanband.com and follow them on Instagram @sunflowerbean. Listen to them on all major streaming platforms, including Spotify.