Sunflower Bean announce sophomore album ‘Twentytwo in Blue’

Sunflower Bean
Credit: Hollie Fernando

New York trio Sunflower Bean have announced 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 via Mom + Pop, here or here.

To coincide with the album announcement, Sunflower Bean have shared 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.” Take a listen to the new single via Soundcloud below. You can also 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 ‘Twentytwo in 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.”


1. Burn It
2. I Was a Fool
3. Twentytwo
4. Crisis Fest
5. Memoria
6. Puppet Strings
7. Only A Moment
8. Human For
9. Any Way You Like
10. Sinking Sands
11. Oh No, Bye Bye

Tour dates

1/26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits
1/31 – Chicago, IL @ Metro ^
2/01 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement East ^
2/03 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk ^
2/05 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger ^
2/06 – Dallas, TX @ Granada ^
2/07 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Inside Downstairs) ^
2/09 – New Orleans, LA @ Republic New Orleans ^
2/10 – Athens, GA  @ 40 Watt ^
2/11 – Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre ^
2/13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ^
2/14 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ^
2/22 – London, UK @ The Jazz Cafe @
3/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge
3/02 – San Francisco, CA @  Rickshaw Stop
3/24 – Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms
3/26 – Norwich, UK @ Open Norwich
3/27 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare and Hounds
3/28 – Newcastle upon Tyne, UK @ Riverside
3/29 – Leeds, UK @ Wardrobe
3/30 – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
3/31 – Liverpool, UK @ The Magnet
4/01 – Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
4/03 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
4/05 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
4/06 – London, UK @ Koko
4/09 – Paris, FR @ Point Ephemere
4/10 – Antwerp, Belgium @ TRIX VZW
4/11 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
4/12 – Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow
4/13 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Loppen
4/14 – Berlin, Germany @ Rosis
4/15 – Vienna, Austria @ Chelsea Club
4/17 – Lausanne, Switzerland @ Le Romandie
4/18 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Bogen F
4/19 – Cologne, Germany @ Blue Shell
5/20 – Gulf Shores, AL @ The Hangout Music Festival

^ – w/ Sleigh Bells
@ – supporting Jessie Ware