When Sunflower Bean released Human Ceremony in 2016, a lot of ears perked up. It was an extraordinarily mature debut for a band whose three members — Julia Cummings, Nick Kivlen and Jacob Faber — couldn't yet legally drink in their hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y. Combining a punk-rock rhythm section with gnarled guitars, the band topped it off with Cummings' delicate, dreamy lead vocals.
This past summer, concertgoers at Pickathon in Happy Valley, Ore., got a tantalizing preview of the band's new direction.
On a warm Saturday evening at the Woods Stage, Sunflower Bean leaned into a set laced with hooky new songs that sound inspired by '70s guitar rock. That brash and energetic performance turned out to be one of the three-day festival's breakout moments. Hidden in all the swagger and bombast was this beautiful new song, "I Was A Fool" — the first single from Sunflower Bean's new record, Twentytwo In Blue, due out in March 2018.
Every month this year, opbmusic and NPR Music will present another song recorded live at the Pickathon Woods Stage. These videos are hand-picked by opbmusic to showcase some of Pickathon's most exciting performances. Look for the next premiere in late February.
The Pickathon Woods Series was made possible by support from Klean Kanteen.