Signing Story: Sunflower Bean

Sunflower Bean

Sunflower Bean’s latest release, Human Ceremony, exemplifies the band’s ability to straddle styles and genres while molding an identity that is wholly unique. That being said, this young trio out of New York can best be described as psychedelic rock, with influences ranging from Black Sabbath to The Cure to Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. What began as a pair of high school buddies, Nick Kivlen and Jacob Faber, jamming in a Long Island basement, expanded creatively in a significant way with the addition of Julia Cumming in 2013. After playing a ton of shows and festivals and self-releasing an EP in 2015, the band started getting quite a bit of attention. In an industry that seeks out easily marketable, highly consumable, often derivative acts, they needed to find a partner and champion that fit their artistic sensibilities. Enter Fat Possum Records.

Sunflower Bean was on the Fat Possum Records radar for quite some time, but it wasn’t until a label rep saw their sets at SXSW in 2015 that initial contact was made with manager Crista Simiriglia. During this time, Sunflower Bean had some interest from smaller labels, but the group kept being drawn back to Fat Possum. Drummer Jacob Faber explains, “They’re just a badass label with a very creative mindset and an incredible legacy. It was a no-brainer.”

After a month of conversations and discussions, the band signed 
a one-album deal that also included a 7-inch release, with an option
to continue. “They’ve been amazing to work with so far,” says Faber, “providing encouragement and guidance based on years of experience, while giving us our space creatively. We’ve been working with the U.K. team; they like to be involved every step of the way, which has helped foster an amazing relationship.” With a February album release, an upcoming tour and a return to SXSW, 2016 looks to be a busy year for Sunflower Bean.

Fat Possum launched in 1992 in Oxford, MS, focused on blues artists. They’ve recently shifted to younger indie rock acts, The Black Keys, Andrew Bird and Youth Lagoon.

Photo By Crista Simiriglia

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