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) release another stunning single from their forthcoming new album “Headful of Sugar“.
“I Don’t Have Control Sometimes” is a superbly crafted glittering slice of new wave pop showing what a diverse range of styles the band can effortlessly embrace. It’s a track with the propulsive rhythm of The Cure at their most darkly jaunty ( think “Close To Me”) as Cumming’s ice cream sweet vocals swirl around an addictive effervescent mix of throbbing bass lines and driving urgent beats to produce a hugely addictive earworm.
It’s quite the bop although its inspiration came from a slightly darker place, Cumming reveals it was written during a period of recklessness and instability that brought her to the breaking point that made this new album such a force and she explains, “I’ve always thought that my reckless side was both a gift and a curse, leading me to my best choices on stage but my worst choices in life. I don’t have control sometimes is admission, acceptance, and almost celebration of the parts of yourself that are impulsive or maybe even insane.” This is exactly the sort of track that would have been HUGE back in the day when MTV held sway and certainly deserves to be heard far and wide because this is what talent sounds like.
The song also features a video featuring somebody who seems to be experiencing worse luck than The Fast Shows’ “Unlucky Alf .” Listening to it makes me even more pissed off that I missed them when they played Manchester last week due to family logistics. Hopefully, it won’t turn me into one of those annoying social media stans who post “come to Merseyside (insert hometown here )” every time the band announces a string of live shows anywhere in the world. Ie/ “Delighted to announce we are playing a series of dates in North America – “Come to Merseyside,” “what no Prenton gigs ? ” etc, etc Then again, when music sounds this good, I just might!
Oh erm …….too late!
Headful of Sugar will be released on May 6 via Lucky Number, and follows Sunflower Bean navigating the agony and ecstasy of contemporary American life. “Tomorrow is not promised, no tour is promised, no popularity is promised, no health or money is promised,” bassist/vocalist Julia Cumming says. “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?” 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.
7 Apr – London, UK @ Electric Ballroom
9 Apr – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
10 Apr – Portsmouth, UK @ The Wedgewood Rooms
11 Apr – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
30 Apr – Boston, MA, US @ Brighton Music Hall
5 May – Washington, DC, US @ Union Stage
6 May – Asbury Park, NJ, US @ Asbury Lanes
12 May – New York, NY, US @ Webster Hall
14 May – Philadelphia, PA, US @ The Foundry
19 May – Ferndale, MI, US @ The Loving Touch
20 May – Chicago, IL, US @ Bottom Lounge
21 May – Minneapolis, MN, US @ Fine Line
22 May – Madison, WI, US @ High Noon Saloon
24 May – Grand Rapids, MI, US @The Pyramid Scheme
25 May – Cleveland, OH, US @ Grog Shop
26 May – Toronto, ON, CA @ Lee’s Palace
1 Jun – San Diego, CA, US @ Music Box SD
2 Jun – Los Angeles, CA, US @ The Fonda Theatre
4 Jun – San Francisco, CA, US @ The Independent
7 Jun – Portland, OR, US @ Mississippi Studios
8 Jun – Vancouver, BC, CA @ Rickshaw Theatre
9 Jun – Seattle, WA, US @ The Crocodile
11 Jun – Denver, CO, US @ Bluebird Theatre