When Sunflower Bean released their third studio album, ‘Headful of Sugar’ in May it was long in the making, since their EP King of the Dudes that was released in 2019. The album captures the perspective of many in today’s modern world, as bassist/vocalist Julia Cumming stated, “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?” With songs like “Who Put You Up to This?”, the band reflects on a former relationship but also a former self. Cumming explained, “It’s about getting away without running away.” Elsewhere, there are songs that aren’t so autobiographical, where they tap into alter-egos who resonate with the listener but also speak to members as individuals, too. Drummer Olive Faber, who recently came out as transgender, noted how a song like “Roll the Dice” provides a sense of promise that a different kind of life is possible. “Even though Julia and Nick handle the lyrics, these songs speak to my experiences as a trans person. I relate to the sense of willfulness I hear in them, this urge to roll the dice and let yourself make huge life changes in pursuit of happiness,” she says. The song was written in response to the meme stock phenomenon in 2021, when a generation of precarious basement dwellers bet their life savings trying to beat the casino of American capitalism, and in doing so, showed how untethered the stock market is to actual reality. The band recently wrapped up their spring tour and are slated to tour with Peach Pit in the fall.
Sunflower Bean speak with B-Sides host Pete Mar about performing live again, their latest album ‘Headful of Sugar’, their perspective on how their catalog of music over the years captures their story of growing from their late teens into their adulthood and more.