Sunflower Bean - Human Ceremony

The debut release from the latest “Next Big Thing” lands courtesy of Brooklynites Sunflower Bean. Rising from a large number of “shoegaze, post-rock, and weirdo noise bands"they've started the new year with a bang. Hot on the heels of a storming SXSW appearance, and gracing these shores supporting The Vaccines, comes their first full length record. After independently releasing debut EP Show Me Your Seven Secrets in early 2015, Human Ceremony arrives, two years in the making, as an accomplished fizzy pop rock album made by a group already very comfortable with their style and vision.

Human Ceremony wears its shopping list of influences on its sleeve, fusing together guitars which drift from delay drenched to heavy riffing courtesy of guitarist Nick Kivlen. Combined with the dream pop vocals of bassist Julia Cumming, and backed by sharp and brittle drumming from Jacob Faber, the results are an album reminiscent of the “C86” groups of the mid-80s but with a heavier psych rock tinge. Highlights of the album are the insistent ‘Easier Said’, the straight up rock out of ‘I Was Home’, lead single ‘Wall Watcher’, and closer ‘Space Exploration Disaster’ which bears its psychedelic roots proudly.

The overall effect is an album that makes a powerful statement with a delicate touch, which manages to take elements of shoegaze post rock but also retains a lightness and sense of fun. The only criticism that could be levelled against the record is that, for those who have seen the group live, it doesn’t quite capture the energy that they can deliver, but a minor quibble for a group that really do live up to the hype.


These sunflowers are blossoming


out of 10

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