New York trio Sunflower Bean—vocalist and bassist Julia Cumming (she/her), guitarist and vocalist Nick Kivlen (he/him), and drummer Olive Faber (she/they)— have released their long-awaited new album, ‘Headful of Sugar’ via Lucky Number. ‘Headful of Sugar’ was produced and mixed by UMO’s Jacob Portrait, co-engineered by Olive Faber and Portrait, and recorded between Electric Lady and Sunflower Bean Studios.
The album is an eclectic mix of genres, veering from perfect pop (‘I Don’t Have Control Sometimes’) to psychedelic rock (‘Headful of Sugar’.) The change in gears from song to song can leave your head spinning at times, but ultimately each track is an irresistibly glorious sugar hit.
“Tomorrow is not promised, no tour is promised, no popularity is promised, no health or money is promised. Why not make what you want to make on your own terms? Why not make a record that makes you want to dance? Why not make a record that makes you want to scream?”Julia Cumming
The album kicks off with ‘Who Put You Up To This’ with Cumming on lead vocals. It’s a dreamy pop anthem with a seductive chorus that compels you to sing along and features a shimmering, soulful guitar solo. On ‘In Flight’ Kivlen takes the lead vocals, it’s sublime, plaintive indie-pop with Cummings providing great harmonising. ‘Roll The Dice’ is high octane rock with a brief acoustic interlude that is just pure perfection. It’s a great contrast to the pop songs that preceded it on the album and illustrates how Sunflower Bean are masters of any genre that they choose to explore. Title track, ‘Headful of Sugar’ is dreamy and atmospheric and would not be out of place on a Brian Jonestown Massacre album. After the atmospheric onslaught of the title track, ‘I Don’t Have Control Sometimes’ is blissful pop with an intoxicating beat. ‘Post Love’ harks back to the disco era and would have gone down a treat at Studio 54. ‘Baby Don’t Cry’ has a 90s feel à la the Cardigans – it’s all crunching guitars juxtaposed with glorious harmonies. ‘Beat The Odds’ sees the band referencing Gary Numan with a ‘Cars‘ like riff. The album closer, ‘Feel Somebody’ is another full on rock anthem and stands in complete contrast to the pure pop of the opening song. You half expect Courtney Love to be mentioned in the credits.
‘Headful of Sugar’ takes the listener on an amazing journey across various genres – it’s a wonderfully satisfying experience. Sunflower Bean are at the height of their powers they have distilled the best music from various decades into an album that takes the listener on a wildly exciting sonic safari.
‘Headful of Sugar’ Tracklist
- ‘Who Put You Up To This?’
- ‘In Flight’
- ‘Roll The Dice’
- ‘Headful of Sugar’
- ‘I Don’t Have Control Sometimes’
- ‘Stand By Me’
- ‘Post Love’
- ‘Baby Don’t Cry’
- ‘Beat The Odds’
- ‘Feel Somebody’
Stream or buy ‘Headful of Sugar’ HERE.