Song of the Day: Sunflower Bean - I Was Home

Song of the Day
04/27/2016
Sara Selevitch
photo by Renata Steiner

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “I Was Home” by Sunflower Bean from their debut album, Human Ceremony, out now on Fat Possum Records.

Sunflower Bean - I Was Home (MP3)

In 2014, the Brooklyn trio of fresh-faced 20-year-olds played 50 NYC shows, more than any other band in the city. They then spent the next two years working on their first full length EP, which dropped this past February. The group’s sound relies heavily on the call and response vocals of guitarist Nick Kivlen and bassist Julia Cumming, who take turns singing over Jacob Faber’s lively drums. The back and forth vocals mirror Sunflower Bean’s tendency to switch rapidly between genres as well. Their songs vary from psych pop to garage rock, blissful to raging.

“What did you do today?” Kivlen asks in the first few moments of “I Was Home.” Cummings answers, “I was home and then I wasn’t.” In an interview with Rolling Stone, Kivlen describes the track as "a lighthearted song about the mundanity of life.” Cumming's luminous vocals cut beautifully across Kivlen’s deeper tones and feed off the energy of Faber’s propulsive beat. The result is a jangly tune that is simple and angst-ridden. Home then not. Here then gone. Sunflower Bean serves as a fitting soundtrack for the in-between.

Sunflower Bean recently performed in Seattle and are currently on an East Coast tour. Hopefully, they'll come back soon, but until then, keep an eye on their website and Facebook page for any further updates and for more music, and check out this video for "Easier Said", another song from Human Ceremony:

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