Reviews

Sunflower Bean
Twentytwo In Blue

(Lucky Number)

5/10

It wasn’t that long ago that Sunflower Bean were being talked up as NYC’s coolest young band. Given the musical delights that forever pour out of that city, it was quite the accolade. Sure, they were never going to win any awards for originality, but there was a certain frisson to the songs that made up their debut album, ‘Human Ceremony’, even if it sounded a little one paced for a group allegedly in thrall to Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, and The Velvet Underground. There’s even less rock and roll on follow up ‘Twentytwo In Blue’, for the band have raided an entirely different era for inspiration; specifically, the soft rock of AM radio and the big Fleetwood Mac songbook.

The glam-lite stomp of ‘Burn It’ is a pleasant enough opener but then ‘I Was A Fool’ and ‘Twentytwo’ hover into view, both of which see bassist and singer Julia Cumming channeling her inner Stevie Nicks on what could be long lost ‘Rumours’ session tracks. The glam returns briefly on ‘Puppet Strings’ and ‘Human For’ before you’re thrust back into the MOR fog.

There are a few gems to be found here – ‘Any Way You Like’ is a gorgeously sweet little ballad, while closer ‘Oh No, Bye Bye’ is a charmingly wistful sign off – but mostly they sound like they’re refashioning the cooler corners of music history. Having a great record collection and knowing what to do with it are two different things; sadly, Sunflower Bean are lacking in the latter.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.