Psych rock trio Sunflower Bean used to be one of New York’s best kept secrets, but over the past few years they have gained a real national following. Friends that went to SXSW this year couldn’t stop talking about their sets. So when I had a last minute opportunity to catch them on Halloween I jumped at the chance, and was not disappointed.
Like most psych rock acts, its hard to say you really know them until you see them play live. The riffs are harder and you get to truly experience the way they play off each other, improvise and solo. Monday night’s live experience also had the added element of halloween costumes both on stage and in the crowd, making for a unique energy.
Sunflower Bean Vocalist/ bassist Julia Cumming provides incredible stage presence and harmonies with Kivlen. At one point she got down into the crowd to jam with the crowd dressed in costume as an alien. I already had their album Human Ceremony on heavy rotation, but their live show really made me a fan and slightly deaf for two days. Their number one single right now is probably “Easier Said” but I was blown away by “Wall Watcher.” Check it out below.
Before the set I had an opportunity to briefly chat with Nick Kivlen (guitar/ vocals) and Jacob Faber (drums) outside the venue. We talked a bit about the trio’s ties to Long Island, and they couldn’t say enough good things about The Lemon Twigs who they are touring with. The Lemon Twigs set the table for the night with a refreshing 70s sound and a disgusting amount of musical talent from the D’Addario brothers who seem to play every instrument.
I would definitely recommend catching both Sunflower Bean and The Lemon Twigs as they continue their tour, you can find all the dates here.