De New Yorkse band Sunflower Bean brengt op 23 maart het tweede studioalbum Twentytwo in Blue uit. Deze titel is een verwijzing naar zowel de leeftijd van de bandleden Julia Cumming, Jacob Faber en Nick Kivlen (22 jaar), als naar de periode van 2 jaar en 2 maanden die wij hebben moeten wachten tussen het debuutalbum en het verschijnen van het nieuwe album.
Op het nieuwe album vormen de pop/rock liedjes nog steeds de basis, maar de band heeft ook een lekkere retro ondertoon toegevoegd. De herkenbare ‘Sunflower Beans sound’ is nog altijd ruim aanwezig, maar tegelijkertijd horen wij ook de progressieve ontwikkeling van de band in zowel sound als songtekst. Twentytwo in Blue is in een politiek onrustige periode in elkaar gezet. Het album is voor een gedeelte een statement van de band, het ongenoegen over de huidige gang van zaken is duidelijk te horen. Nick Kivlen heeft er het volgende over te zeggen:
This has been such an unbelievable time. 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.
‘Crisis Fest’ is de tweede single van het nieuwe album. Het is een lekkere indie rock plaat geworden met een klein mespuntje punk. In dit nummer proberen ze op hun eigen manier de huidige (Amerikaanse) politieke situatie te verwerken. De focus wordt gelegd op de kracht van de jonge generaties en minder op de onzekere toekomst die ons te wachten staat.
Vanwege de aankomende albumrelease mocht ik de band enkele vragen stellen, hieronder het interview.
Not everyone who’s talented with instruments or has a great voice decides to form a band. What was your motivation to get together?
We were always playing in bands as kids, always the youngest in our music scene. So we always knew of each other, and it was only a matter of time before we came together. It was kind of a no-brainer. We were the only ones crazy enough to do it! – Julia
Like Julia said we were all engulfed in music from a pretty young age so when we met each other and clicked we were sure we wanted to do this band! – Jacob
These days it’s all about creating innovative music, how did you decide what kind of genre you were going to make?
For the most part we usually let the songs take their course. Songs are malleable to a certain extent, when your in the studio adding different ingredients and tones can completely change the genre. – Nick
Each song definitely has its own “core influences”, but beyond that we let them take their own shape from all of our different musical tendencies. It’s always fun seeing where a song will go! – Jacob
The list of musical influences you mention is very long. If you had to choose one band/artist who has the most influence on your new album, who would that be? (and of course why?)
When we write, we pull from a few different places to create something new out of the past. A very influential record for us was “Tusk” by Fleetwood Mac, but we also thought about a band like the Gorillaz, who are super creative and interesting, to take it to the next level. – Julia
Which song(s) are your favourite on the new album? Why that particulate song(s)?
I don’t think it’s fair to pick favorites, and also it changes every time I listen to the record! I think my current favorite is probably “Any Way You Like” because of when the strings kick in. It was very different for us at the time and that makes it special for me. – Julia
One of my favorites (I love them all) is Oh No, Bye Bye. I love the way it kind of got turned on its head from the original version! – Jacob
Are there any musical differences on the new album in comparison to the first album?
I think we pulled away from some of that 80’s influence and got into our classic side a little more. When we made the songs more classic there was a lot more we could do vocally, and that was really fun to explore on this record. – Julia
What do you like the most: writing new songs or playing a gig with an amazing crowd?
It depends on the day! When you are in the thick of writing it’s the most fun thing in the world, but there’s nothing like seeing the songs come to life with people. It’s a very communicative art form. But personally, I’d say writing is my favorite part. – Julia
Yea, it totally depends! I think as a band, for this record, we were really focused on writing good songs that often ended up being really creatively fulfilling. It’s always really exciting when you finish a song and it feels right. But on the flipside I love playing shows, I love being on tour and getting so tight as a band that it feels like a whole new level of playing opens up. – Jacob
Are you visiting the Netherlands soon for a show?
Yea! We’re coming to Paradiso Kleine Zaal on April 11th 2018. We will be playing a bunch of songs off Twentytwo in Blue!!